The government has decided to ensure safety of the Padma Multipurpose Bridge by installing closed circuit cameras along with deploying army in every ferry during the crossing of the river.
The authorities concerned will also illuminate the pillars of the bridge, setting up rubber around the pillars and ferries so that Padma Bridge will not suffer any loss in any accident.
In the last two months, pile caps of Padma Bridge have suffered a loss as three ferries hit pillars 10, 16 and 17.
Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC) chairman Syed M Tajul Islam confirmed it to the media after emerging from a meeting organised by Bangladesh Army, who are in charge of security of the Padma Bridge.
Apart from these, the authorities concerned also decided to decrease number of vehicles on each ferry and replace old ferries with new and stronger ones alongside selecting separate routes for ferries and launches.
The authorities concerned including Bangladesh Army will start to implement all decisions soon with taking assistance from others.
BIWTC Chairman Syed Tajul said the Army has taken measures to increase safety of Padma Bridge due to a rise in collisions of ferries with the pillars of the bridge. “CC cameras to be set up on the pillars along with illuminating the pillars,” he said.
“Instead of Ro Ro ferries, three medium-sized ferries will be brought from other ghats to keep the situation normal,” he said.
According to the sources, health check-up of masters of ferries has already started.
Talking over good-laden trucks crossing by ferries, Syed Tajul said good-laden trucks will use alternative routes, including Doulatdia-Paturia ghat, as the operation of large ferries has already stopped.
“Authorities concerned have already asked all to avoid Shimulia-Banglabazar route for the sake of security of the Padma Bridge,” he said.
According to sources, Banglabazar-bound ferries will use the routes between the pillars no. 3, 4 and 5 and Shimulia-bound ferries will use the routes between 5, 6 and 7.
Earlier on Tuesday, the BIWTC banned plying of ferries with heavy vehicles on Shimulia-Banglabazar route as two accidents occurred within three weeks. On Monday, a Ro Ro ferry ‘Birshreshtha Jahangir’ hit pillar no. 10 of the bridge.
On July 23, another Ro Ro ferry, Shahjalal, struck pillar no 17 of the bridge and on July 20 Ro Ro ferry Shah Makhdum also collided with pillar no 16.