Pressure of passengers and goods-laden vehicles has increased ahead of Eid holidays
With at least a week still left before Eid-ul-Fitr, a large number of holidaymakers have been flocking to the Paturia and Shimulia ferry terminals in Manikganj and Munshiganj, defying the government-imposed travel ban to curb the transmission of coronavirus.
These two ferry terminals are major gateways to 21 southern districts of the country.
“Both people and vehicles were seen thronging in large numbers at the Paturia ferry ghat since early hours of Friday,” said Zillur Rahman, deputy general manager of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) Aricha office.
The number of ferries had been increased due to mounting pressure of vehicles and passengers, he added.
Currently, 15 ferries are operating on the Paturia-Daulatdia route.
Regardless, private vehicles and goods-laden trucks have formed long queues at the terminal waiting to cross the Padma River.
Mawa Traffic Police Inspector (TI) Helal Uddin said that it would not be possible to prevent the transmission of coronavirus since many people were travelling without maintaining the health guidelines.
He added that in order to handle the extra pressure of passengers and goods-carrying vehicles, the terminal authorities had chosen to allow vehicles on a priority basis. “As a result, around 800 vehicles, including 300 freight trucks, have become stuck at the Shimulia Ghat since Friday morning.”
Shafayet Ahmed, BIWTC manager at the Shimulia ferry terminal, said that 15 ferries had been operating on the Shimulia-Kathalbari route since Friday morning.