Hundreds of vehicles, mostly passenger buses and goods-carrying trucks remain stranded at Paturia-Daulatdia ferry ghat, creating long tailbacks on this major river channel.
The sudden suspension of ferry movement on the Shimulia-Banglabazar river channel has also mounted the pressure of vehicles towards Paturia-Daulatdia ghat, sources at police and Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) said.
A severe traffic jam has been created at Paturia Ghat since on Friday morning due to the increasing pressure of passengers and vehicles. The traffic jam has spread about five kilometers from Paturia to Nabgram. This is causing extreme misery to the passengers.
According to BIWTC’s Aricha office, heavy traffic jams have occurred in Paturia and Aricha Ghat areas due to the increasing pressure of passengers and vehicles. Fifteen ferries, out of the 17 ferries, are plying on this route.
On the other hand, passengers and vehicles are being carried by three ferries on the Aricha-Kazirhat route.
Amid increasing pressure of vehicles and a delay in the movement of, traffic jams have occurred in the ghat area due to the shortage of ferries on these two waterways.
Goods-laden truck drivers have to wait for two to three days in ghat areas as BIWTC authorities are giving priority to passenger buses for crossing the ferries.
Zillur Rahman, DGM of BIWTC, Aricha office, said an average of 2,500 vehicles cross the Paturia-Daulatdia waterway per day during normal time.
On the other hand, BIWTC on Monday suspended ferry services on the Shimulia-Banglabazar route due to strong currents in the Padma.
The services were suspended at 12:30 pm. Vehicles waiting to cross the river left Shimulia ghat in Munshiganj and Banglabazar ghat in Madaripur after the authorities made announcements asking them to leave, said officials.
BIWTC Assistant General Manager Shafiqul Islam said, "Five medium-sized ferries were plying on the Shimulia-Banglabazar route only during the day. But the ferry services were suspended at 12:30pm on Monday due to strong currents in the Padma. Ferry services were suspended to avoid accidents. All vehicles have been asked to leave the ghat areas through announcements on loudspeakers,” he added.
Shafiqul said accidents may occur if ferries are operated in strong currents. Moreover, there would be a risk of ferries hitting the pillar of the under-construction Padma Bridge, he added.
The ferry services on the Shimulia-Banglabazar route resumed partly on August 5 after remaining suspended for 47 days. Ferries were carrying only light vehicles from 6:00 am to 5:00 pm every day.