People returning after holidays face huge trouble

A plethora of troubles including the ongoing floods, rains and ferry disruptions have intensified the sufferings of people now travelling from throughout the country to reach their respective workplaces in capital Dhaka, other metropolitan cities and district towns.

According to sources, ferry services at both Daulatdia-Paturia and Maowa-Kathalbari routes are being disrupted due to strong currents in the Padma causing untold sufferings to people returning to their workplaces in Dhaka as well as different cities across the country.

As it was taking double the usual time to cross the river, hundreds of vehicles had to remain stranded on both sides of the river.

According to witnesses, after the Eid holidays, the pressure of people heading for Dhaka has increased at Kathalbari in Madaripur, Shimulia in Munshiganj, Daulatdia in Rajbari and Paturia in Manikganj.

On the other hand, most of the passengers and transport authorities were seen ignoring the health guidelines prescribed by the government amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Witnesses said the water level of Padma at Kathalbari Ghat has started coming down. As a result, all the four ghats at Kathalbari, Maowa, Paturia and Daulatdia ferry have been opened.

But, long queues of private cars were seen on the roads connecting the ghats. Many trucks were seen stuck at the terminals.

On the other hand, the same scenario was seen at the launch and speedboat terminals. Each launch and speedboat was seen carrying extra passengers. There was no health protection system in the vessels moving under the pressure of extra passengers.

One of the passengers said, due to bad weather, the authorities have kept the launch movement stopped for the welfare of the passengers as accidents could occur at any time.

Akhter Hossain, a traffic inspector of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) at Kathalbari, said, “Keeping in mind accidents, passengers are being carried according to the capacity of each launch. Those who do not follow the rules are being fined.”

He said, the pressure of the passengers is now a little higher and therefore, personnel from the Ansar and police have been working to ease the pressure.

Official sources said, after the Eid holidays, people of the south-western zones have started flocking to the capital. As a result, the pressure of people and vehicles has also started to increase at Daulatdia Ghat in Rajbari. Although these people started returning from Monday afternoon, the pressure increased from noon Wednesday.