The rush of homebound people continued on Monday also as thousands of city dwellers embarked on a risky journey to ancestral homes to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr with near and dear ones.
It was noon around 12:30. An emergency ferry set off from Shimulia Ferry Ghat to carry two ambulances, one with a body, and few perishable product-laden trucks.
No sooner had the ferry reached the ghat, than hundreds of people, desperately waiting for a ferry, immediately got into a competition of getting on board, pushing and shoving one another.
Then the ferry headed for Banglabazar Ghat. But immediately after starting the journey, a woman started crying. Asking about the reason, other passengers came to know that the woman left behind her six-year-old son.
Passengers then without spending time, rushed to the control room of the ferry and informed the authorities about the matter.
The authorities, in response, decided to return to the Shimulia Ghat and did so accordingly.
After reaching there, the poor mother got her son back. "I am so happy getting my son back. I will pray for all who helped me to make it happen," said the mother Nilufar (not her real name), with tears in her eyes.
She, a housewife, was going to her hometown in Banaripara along with her only son. "My husband will come once his office goes on Eid vacation. He is a service holder," she said.
This a single picture of the mad rush of the homebound holidaymakers ahead of Eid.
During a visit on Monday, it was seen that despite the suspension of ferry operation amid lockdown, homebound people had flocked to the ferries which are only allowed to carry ambulances and vehicles with bodies and rotten products at Shimulia-Banglabazar terminal.
Even the ferry authorities and members of law enforcement agencies cannot manage the flock. People are leaving Dhaka with different excuses.
Traffic Inspector Shohrab Hossen said the authorities allowed a ferry only for passing emergency vehicles only. But the desperate people forcefully got on board.
"However, there is little rush today," he said, adding, "But it seems that it will rise again on Tuesday once the garments go into vacation."
"As there were a number of emergency vehicles, we allowed two ferries to carry those," said Safiqul Islam, assistant general manager of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC).
The gloomy picture was also seen in the Paturia-Daulatdia Ferry Ghat. Holidaymakers thronged the terminal there in the morning.
A few ferries were allowed to cross the Padma River to carry the ambulances on a limited scale and people were seen getting on board on those ferries.
Meanwhile, in order to stop the deadly second wave of coronavirus, police and BGB check-posts were installed on the Dhaka-Aricha and Dhaka-Mawa highway at different points.
Homebound passengers have to reach the terminal area facing rigorous interrogation.
Md FirojKabir, officer-in-charge of Shibalay Police Station, said that several teams of police are working to control the overall situation in the terminal area and the situation is under control.
Executive Magistrate at the BGB checkpoint at Doleswari Toll Plaza Ahmed Sabbir Sajjad said people are coming up with different excuses. "We let them go if their shown reasons are believable or if they can show any proof."
"Every year, we have to go home through various adversities during Eid holidays and this year, there is also no difference," said a passenger, Shirin Sultana, who failed to return to her village.
Another passenger, Ahmed Sobhan said, "No one come out of home without any need. So this is harassment."
Meanwhile, long-route buses are running on different routes despite the ban, capitalising the intense desire of homebound people.
However, highway police have detained 16 long-route buses from Chattogram trying to take passengers to different districts across the country including Dhaka.
Abul Hasnat, sub-inspector of Baro-Aulia Highway Police Station, said, "The buses were carrying passengers to different districts violating the ban on inter-district movement."
Meanwhile, Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque said on Monday that it is suicidal for people to rush back to their ancestral homes for the Eid holidays.
According to Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), the alarming Coronavirus transmission surge in the country may worsen after Eid-ul-Fitr.