Shimulia ferry ghat is witnessing a massive rush of home-bound people as thousands of people are arriving here from Dhaka and adjacent areas to cross the mighty Padma River for celebrating Eid-ul-Adha with their families amid the pandemic.
The ferries were loaded with motorcycles and passengers from early morning. The launches are carrying more passengers even though they are instructed to carry half of their capacity. Social distancing and the hygiene rules are being ignored there.
Due to the strong current of the Padma river and increase of public transport and private vehicles, it became harder to carry the vehicles across the river on ferries. More than 600 private vehicles and trucks are waiting to cross the river.
Besides, hundreds of trucks are waiting to cross the Dhaka-Mawa Expressway towards the ghat.
According to the ghat authorities, 15 ferries and 83 launches are currently operating on the waterway for the passage of vehicles and passengers.
Faisal Ahmed, assistant manager of BIWTS Shimulia Ghat, said, "There are currently 15 ferries plying on the route. There are more than 600 vehicles carrying passengers and goods waiting for crossing the ghat area. All vehicles will be allowed to board on the ferries in phases. However, the ferries were more crowded with passengers and motorcycles since morning. Several ferries had to leave with only passengers and motorcycles".
Marine Ahmed Ali, official of BIWTC Shimulia ghat said, "It takes twice as long for ferries to reach Bangla Bazar ghat from Shimulia due to rising water and strong currents in the river. Each ferry has to travel more than 3-4 km against the current and on the river ."