When the engineers were with installing the last span of Padma Multipurpose Bridge, large numbers of commuters kept waiting at Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation’s (BIWTC) Shimulia Ghat in Munshiganj’s Mawa to cross the mighty river.
Talking to this correspondent, they expressed their joy and satisfaction.Palash Das does small business of garment accessories in the capital’s Chawk Bazar. He goes to his village home in Madaripur’s Shibchar in every weekend.
Reaching Mawa by a bus, he needs to cross the river through speed boat risking his life. He said “Days of this suffering are coming to an end. We pay Tk 200 to cross the river by speed boat. If the number of commuters increases, drivers of speed boats claim Tk 250. After the Padma Bridge opens, our pain will have reduced.”
It takes 20 minutes to cross the river through speed boat and walking half a kilometer to reach the ghat is needed, Palash said, adding that he often needs to wait for long period for the speed boat getting adequate number of passengers.
Palash dreams of crossing the river within 5 to 6 minutes without facing hazard and taking life risk.
Shariatpur’s Jahidul Islam is a wholesale grocer struggling to cross the river every now and then.
His business is hampered for receiving products late due to long congestion of vehicles in the ghat. He believes the Padma Bridge will make his life easier.Like Palash and Jahidul, the long wait of the people of 23 southern districts including Madaripur, Shariatpur, Khulna and Barishal, will be over and they will benefit from greatly from the mega construction.
Monju Mia, driver of Khulna-bound truck carrying corrugated sheet from Cumilla, was stuck in the ghat for three days seeking chance to cross the river.
If Padma Bridge comes into operation, he will be able to cross the river in five minutes.