Eid exodus continues defying govt's Covid restrictions
With Eid-ul-Fitr just a few days away, scores of people have been rushing to the Shimulia Ferry Terminal to spend the Eid with their family and friends.
People continued to reach the wharf on foot on Wednesday as police and Border Guard Bangladesh personnel were halting all private cars at the multiple checkpoints on the Dhaka-Mawa Expressway.
As regular ferry movement resumed on Monday, a total of 14 ferries were operating on Shimulia-Banglabazar route.
According to Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC) Shimulia terminal authorities and traffic police, the pressure of emergency vehicles increased since the morning.
Over 400 emergency vehicles including ambulances and hearses were still waiting to cross the river till the writing of this report at 11am.
Md Hilal Uddin, traffic police inspector at Shimulia terminal, said the number of ferries increased on Wednesday morning to transport the emergency vehicles stuck at the terminal.
However, due to huge number of homebound people boarding the ferries, emergency vehicles were unable to cross the river. No private vehicles were being allowed to board the ferries, he added.
Shimulia Ferry Terminal Manager Shafayat Ahmed told Dhaka Tribune: “Passengers waiting at the wharf forcefully boarded these ferries with no regards for physical distancing. We are forced to carry them.”
A huge rush of home-goers was witnessed at the ferry terminal over the past few days, as people determined to spend Eid holidays with family members continued leaving Dhaka despite the unimaginable hassles and health risks.
The government enforced movement restrictions from April 6, extended in several phases, in the face of a surge in Covid-19 infections in the country.
In the latest instance, the restrictions were extended until May 16.