The ferry and launch services on the Paturia – Daulatdia river channel were disrupted in two phases for five hours as visibility came down to zero due to dense fog on Wednesday.
The incidents caused long traffic gridlocks on both sides of the ferry routes and untold inconveniences of passengers and stranded vehicles.
Assistant General Manager of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC) at Aricha sector Nasir Mohammad Chowdhury said that the ferry services were disrupted from 11.30 pm on Tuesday night, bringing traffic to a complete halt. After the fog reduced, the ferry services re-started journey at 3.00 pm. The ferry services were disrupted again at 6.00 am as the channel became risky due to the dense fog, he said.
The vessels reached their destinations after visibility was restored at about 8.30 am on Wednesday, the AGM added.
Mohiuddin Rashel, Manager (Commerce) of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC) at Aricha sector said eight ferries with vehicles and passengers on board were forced to wait at Paturia Ghat area, while four other ferries with vehicles and passengers were anchored mid river at Padma till visibility was regained, the Manager adds.
Over 400 coaches, buses, minibuses, private cars and loaded trucks from Dhaka lined up at Paturia in Manikganj and a similar number of vehicles were waiting at Daulatdia in Rajbari.
A gridlock stretching about two kilometers was seen on the road to Paturia Ghat at about 10:00am, sources said.