Launches leaving from Madbar Ghat of Jajira Chattar in Shariatpur carried extra passengers on their way to Dhaka after crossing the Padma, passengers have alleged.
The pressure on Dhaka-bound passengers has increased since the end of the Eid holiday. Latif Khan, a trader at Chattar Madbar (Mangalmajhir) launch ghat, alleged that the 'BS Navigation Co.' launch, which left for Mawa Shimulia on Sunday, carried passengers beyond its capacity of 98 to 130 passengers.
The Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA), the police and the ghat authorities are not playing a responsible role here, passengers alleged.
Sareng Sumon of the launch, however, said they were not carrying passengers beyond capacity.
Locals alleged that none of the small launches was following the rules.
Asma Begum, Jasim Dhali and Ramzan Miah, passengers of Chattar Madbar launch ghat, said every launch carried extra passengers.
Denying the allegation of carrying extra passengers, the leaseholder of the dock, Moklaj Madbar, said, "Passenger pressure is a bit high on the occasion of Eid.”
Jajira Upazila Executive Officer (UNO) said if the red spot on the bottom of the launch does not sink, it cannot be called overloaded. "No one will be able to transport passengers by dipping the red spot. We are keeping a close watch on that."
Meanwhile, traffic congestion at the Daulatdia ferry terminal in Rajbari has started to decrease. Therefore, the passenger transports do not have to wait for more than three to four hours to get on the ferry, said the ghat authorities.
At Daulatdia ferry terminal at 8:00 am on Sunday, goods-laden trucks were parked up to five kilometres from the zero point of the ghat on the Dhaka-Khulna highway.The number of passenger buses in that row is very low, the number of private vehicles has also decreased. The traffic congestion was 12 km from noon to evening on Saturday. Drivers and passengers had to wait for 10 to 12 hours to reach the ferry in the traffic jam, and the suffering was not over.
Prafulla Chauhan, manager of Daulatdia Ferry Ghat branch of Rajbari, known as the 'gateway' to the south-western part of the country, said 21 ferries were plying on the route, with 8,400 vehicles crossing the ferry in the last 24 hours.
The driver and passengers said that they had to wait a long time to reach the ferry. The driver and passengers said that they had to wait a long time to reach the ferry. "There is no pressure on passenger transport and private vehicles compared to the last two days.
Some perishable goods trucks are waiting to cross. They are trying to cross with passenger buses." Truck driver Moslem Uddin, who was carrying watermelons from Khulna, said, “I arrived at the ferry terminal at 4 am. It was 1 o'clock in the afternoon but I could not get on the ferry. It will take another hour to get on the ferry.
There is no end to the suffering of people heading to the capital as they still have to wait a long time to get on the ferry. The heat has added to the suffering of waiting for the ferry. Passenger Amjad Hossain said, "I think the suffering has decreased a lot today. I heard that I had to wait for 10 to 12 hours to get on the ferry till yesterday. There is still traffic jam but less than yesterday. I have been waiting for three hours.”
Sergeant on duty at Daulatdia Ghat Abdul Khaleq also said that the traffic pressure is decreasing as compared to the last two days.
"Hundreds of passenger buses have been waiting since morning, but there is pressure on freight trucks." The sergeant hopes that the situation will return to normal by the afternoon.