A total of 18 trawlers have been seized by naval police from different areas since morning
Ferry service on the Shimulia-Kathalbari route has been suspended in order to contain the spread of coronavirus as there is an excessive pressure of passenger-flow at the river port in Munshiganj.
The decision was implemented on Sunday following order of suspension from the terminal authorities and local administration.
Shimulia Ferry Terminal Manager Shafayat Ahmed confirmed the matter to Dhaka Tribune.
He said: "In coordination with the Munshiganj district commissioner, the superintendent of police and the upazila executive, we have stopped the ferry service since afternoon. No vehicles are allowed to enter the port. The good-laden vehicles crossing at night have also been put on hold.”
Saying that even the ambulances and hearse vehicles were also being diverted, Shafayat said the suspension will continue until further instructions.
Meanwhile, a total of 18 trawlers have been seized by naval police from different areas since Sunday morning.
Following the notice of ferry suspension, around 5,000 to 6,000 passengers were still waiting at the terminal, Shimulia Ferry Terminal Traffic Police Inspector (TI) said.
He said there were also about 360 good-laden vehicles waiting at the wharf since morning.
Meanwhile, three ferries had left the ferry terminal for emergency services since the morning. The first left Shimulia ghat with eight ambulances at 7am, the other with six or seven ambulances at 8am, and the last with another ambulance at 9:30am.
The Shipping Ministry on Friday night suspended ferry services on the busy Paturia-Daulatdia and Shimulia-Banglabazar routes. However, vessels carrying patients and goods will be allowed to cross the rivers.
The Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC) said the decision was taken in an attempt to curb the further spread of Covid-19 amid the ongoing second wave of the pandemic.
A huge rush of vehicles and commuters was witnessed on the Daulatdia-Paturia route over the past few days, especially on Friday, as people were heading home, taking advantage of the two-day weekend.
Considering the overall situation, two platoons of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) were deployed in the vicinity of Shimulia ghat and near the toll plaza of Padma Bridge from Sunday morning to prevent the gathering of passengers.