Three ferries left the terminal for emergency services since the morning
Ignoring the risk of coronavirus infection, Eid holidaymakers crowded at Shimulia ghat in Munshiganj for the third day on Sunday.
Passengers have been paying extra fares to vessels in the vicinity of the terminal to cross the river as ferry services are suspended.
A total of 10 trawlers with at least 50 passengers have been seized by naval police from different areas since Sunday morning, including Srinagar, Kabutar Khola and Shimulia Bazar in Munshiganj's Louhjong upazila.
Sirajul Kabir, in-charge of Mawa Naval police outpost in Munshiganj, said: “Speedboat and trawler movement is currently banned and, by operating, they have violated the government restrictions imposed to curb the spread of Covid-19.
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“We are trying our best to keep illegal movement in check,” he added.
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.
According to the Shimulia ferry authority, traffic police and Mawa naval police, there is less pressure of passengers than Saturday, but people have still been crowding the ghat from the morning.
Due to the closure of public transport, most of the passengers are travelling to the terminal on foot. Many of them force their way on the emergency ferry services while others are risking their life to cross the river, they added.
Shimulia traffic police Inspector Md Hilal Uddin said almost no emergency service vehicles were waiting in the wharf on Sunday, but more than 300 trucks were in line. The situation was not as bad as it was on Saturday.
Safayat Ahmed, manager (commerce) of Shimulia ferry terminal, said four or five ferries are operating emergency services. Passengers waiting in the wharf are forcefully getting on those ferries. If they are not stopped on the road, they will continue to gather at the ghat.
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.
However, disregarding the suspension order, six ferries were seen carrying hundreds of passengers on the Shimulia-Banglabazar route, flouting Covid safety guidelines, reports our correspondent.
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.