Staff Correspondent, Munshiganj
A course of action has been determined to deal with the recurrent incidents of ferries colliding into the Padma Bridge.
A special meeting was held at the BIWTA Rest House in Mawa in this regard on Sunday. The meeting was attended by officials of BIWTA, the army and Padma Bridge authority, and BIWTC.
According to the opinion of various people, the cause of the recent accidents has been investigated at the meeting. Moreover, due to the increase in water pressure coming down from the upstream of the river Padma during the current monsoon season, strong currents have been created in the Mawa region.
Shimulia-bound ferries from Banglabazar have to exit the Hajra channel at a distance of only 1.3 km from the Padma Bridge. The pillars of the Padma Bridge have to be crossed at a 90-degree course through Hajra channel keeping the head at an approximately 340-degree course. As soon as the ferries exit, they face strong currents. The ferries need to turn its head 110 degrees to go from 340 degrees to 90 course in strong currents, which is a very difficult task from a distance of 1.3 km from the bridge. As a result, the ferries were losing control and hitting the pillars, according to the discussion.
In order to get rid of the problem, a decision was taken in the meeting to install a lighted buoy at 1.7 kilometers away from the channel in the west and 3 kilometers away from Padma Bridge in the west. The ferries will exit the Hajra channel, targeting the lighted buoy, and start the journey to cross the bridge after getting close to the buoy so that the current can be adjusted and the headings can be balanced.
Opinions were given for not using peers from 3 to 7 due to the low water level within 1 kilometer of the bridge in case of selecting navigation span. The pillars from 11 to 22 were considered eligible for navigation. However, due to the high current in the spans on the south side, decision has been taken to allow the ferries to go through Pillar 12 and 13 temporarily for the time being.
BIWTC Chairman Syed Md Tajul Islam, Director (Commercial) SM Ashikuzzaman Syed Md. Tajul Islam, DGM (Marine), Md Abdus Sobhan and others were present in the meeting.