Hundreds of vehicles were lying stranded on both sides of Shimulia-Banglabazar and Paturia-Daulatdia ferry terminals as the authorities concerned suspended ferry services on Shimulia-Banglabazar route, causing untold sufferings for the commuters.
Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC) has suspended operation of ferry services on Shimulia-Banglabazar route in the Padma River from 3:00pm on Wednesday due to strong current.
Mohammad Faisal, manager of BIWTC at Shimulia ghat, said that five ferries were being operated since Wednesday morning but the authorities halted the services to avoid accident.
Around 80 vehicles -- mostly private cars and microbuses -- were waiting at Shimulia ghat to cross Padma River.
Md Jamal Uddin, traffic police inspector of Banglabazar ghat, said that vehicles are leaving the ghat after the ferry services were suspended.
Earlier, the 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 operating 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 the other hand, over 500 vehicles are waiting at the Paturia ferry terminal till Wednesday evening to cross the Padma as ferry movement was slowed down due to strong currents.
Vehicles have been queuing up for the last three days as the authorities concerned are allowing the vehicles carrying passengers and emergency goods to board ferries on a priority basis.
Currently, 17 ferries are in operation on the Paturia-Daulatdia route while one is under repair, BIWTC officials said.