Wednesday, 27 October, 2021

Long Tailbacks at Ferry Terminals

Sufferings of passengers know no bounds

Sufferings of passengers know no bounds
Homebound people journeying for southern districts are suffering immensely as hundreds of vehicles were stuck in a long tailback at Paturia ferry terminal in Manikganj district on Friday.

Sufferings of commuters and transport workers mounted at Paturia-Daulatdia and Shimulia-Banglabazar ferry ghats (terminals) on Friday as they have been waiting for ferries for hours to cross the Padma river.

The major ferry terminals in the country witnessed a huge pressure of vehicles on Friday due to Puja and the weekend.

Police and BIWTA sources said hundreds of vehicles, mostly passenger buses, goods-laden trucks, private cars and microbuses, have been waiting for hours at the ferry ghats since Friday morning to cross the river.

More than 800 vehicles are waiting at Paturia terminal in Manikganj while 400 at Shimulia terminal in Munshiganj to cross the river.

Because of extra traffic pressure, vehicle crossing is being disrupted in Paturia, causing sufferings for passengers.

Due to Puja and the weekend, there has been an increased pressure of passenger vehicles from the southern part of the country since Friday morning.

"Considering passengers' sufferings, buses and private cars are given priority to board ferries while freight trucks are waiting at the wharf," said Zillur Rahman, deputy general manager (commerce) of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTA) Aricha Office. "Even buses and small cars have to wait for around two hours to get on the ferry," he added.

According to the Aricha office of the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC), 20 ferries have been allotted on Paturia and Daulatdia waterways, but 18 ferries are currently operating. Two ferries are being repaired at a floating factory in Paturia due to mechanical faults.

Normally it takes about half an hour for ferries to cross the waterway, but it takes a little longer due to the strong current in the river.

On Friday morning, it was seen that the passenger buses were stuck in long queues from the ghat area to the RCL junction of Paturia-Uthli link road for about one and a half kilometers.  Hundreds of private vehicles are also waiting to cross the river at Ghat No. 5 in Paturia. More than four hundred cargo vehicles are waiting to cross the river at two local truck terminals.

Kabir Hossain, 50, a passenger of Golden Line Paribahan bus, was seen walking on the road in Zero point area of Paturia. Speaking at the time, the government employee said he is going home from Mirpur in Dhaka to Bhangaya village in Faridpur with one more day off with two days off.

Although there was no suffering on the road, they waited for two hours to cross the river in the ghat area. The suffering of transport workers is even immense.

Abdul Karim, driver of a truck driver bound for Jessore with soybean oil from Narayanganj, said he has been waiting since he arrived in Paturia ghat on Wednesday morning. He did not get a ferry ticket till Friday afternoon.

He and his assistant (helper) have to eat at the hotel by spending pocket money.

District Traffic Police Inspector Rizanur Rahman, who is in charge of the ghat area, said pressure of passenger buses was a bit high in the morning.

However, the situation became normal around noon as they crossed earlier on priority basis. The pressure of private small cars also decreases at noon. However, more than 400 vehicles carrying goods including trucks, covered vans and pickup vans are stuck at the terminal.

On the other hand, more than 400 vehicles were seen waiting to cross the river at Shimulia Ferry Terminal on Friday noon, said Shafayet Ahmed, manager of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC's) Shimulia terminal.

"Only five medium-sized ferries are plying on the Shimulia-Banglabazar route due to which they are struggling to cope up with the traffic.

"As the day progresses, the pressure of vehicles is increasing. It is taking three or four hours to board a ferry even after reaching the terminal," he added.