Ferry crisis creates jam on Kazirhat-Aricha route

Hundreds of trucks carrying goods waiting for days to cross river

Published : 05 Jun 2022 08:35 PM

With the onset of the monsoon season, the ferry service on the Kazirhat-Aricha route has been severely disrupted due to the severe flooding of the Jamuna River and the ferry crisis. As a result, thousands of vehicles are waiting for the ferry crossing at these ports. Long queues of buses and freight trucks were seen waiting for the ferry crossing on the road from Kazirhat Ferry Ghat area to Kashinathpur Road in an area of about 1.5 km on Saturday morning. The passengers and workers of these vehicles have suffered. Many victims have commented that the suffering will not abate if the authorities do not take immediate action.

According to BIWTA sources, there are 3 ferries with 2 small and 1 mini ferry to keep the ferry service running on the Kazirhat-Aricha route. Of these, Ferry Ranikhet and Kapoti are very old and it takes 5/6 hours to travel 14 km by water. These two ferries are being repaired from time to time due to engine problems. The ferry kapoti has been anchored at the Aricha ferry terminal for repairs since last Friday. One of the two Ghats in Kazirhat is closed due to rising water level in the river. As there is a launch Ghat near Kazirhat ferry Ghat, it is not possible to crowd many long dumb ferries at that Ghat. As a result, the ferry has been anchored at Aricha Ghat since last Friday. The ferry service of Kazirhat-Aricha route has been started with a ferry named Kadam. Meanwhile, due to the continuous rise of water in the river, it is taking a little longer for the ferries to run against the current. 

Authorities stated that it used to take three hours to travel only one fast ferry, now it takes four hours. Besides, Ranikhet and Kapoti take 6 to 7 hours. Each ferry takes more than an hour. The vehicles have to wait for hours at the wharf. Freight trucks have to cross the ferry one day later. The vehicle workers are suffering in this. In this situation, many people have commented that the ferry should be increased quickly.

Talking to truck drivers Rahmat Ali, Mizanur, Quddus Ali, Bellal Hossain and several other truck drivers, it was learned that Bangabandhu Bridge and Kazirhat-Aricha route could be one of the alternative routes of Dhaka-Tangail route. Especially the people of Pabna and Ishwardi pass through here. Many times when there is a traffic jam on Bangabandhu Bridge and Dhaka-Tangail Highway, the vehicles of that route have been seen using Kazirhat-Aricha route. 

Truck driver Bellal Hossain said that on one hand, it is possible to rest on the ferry, on the other hand it is easy to reach the destination. But due to the ferry crisis, many people do not want to come on this route. Having the required number of ferries will further increase the number of passengers and vehicles. Kazir Hat Aricha Naurut will be one of the routes for transportation of goods.