Dhaka, Aug 17 (Just News): Hundreds of passengers and cattle traders got stranded at Paturia and Daulatdia ferry ghats for hours since Thursday afternoon due to disruption in ferry services on the River Padma.
Ferry ghat officials blamed pre-Eid extra pressures of vehicular movements, lack of navigability and strong currents in the river for long tailbacks.
Though the cattle-laden trucks are being given priority, a four-kilometre-long tailback was seen at Daulatdia ferry ghat-end on Thursday evening.
The cattle laden trucks remained stuck for three to four hours at Daulatdia ferry ghat and buses were stranded at Paturia and Daulatdia ghats for hours, creating huge sufferings to the cattle traders as well as the passengers.
The cattle traders were seen worrying about the health conditions of the cattle heads due to long wait in hot and humid weather.
More ferries have been pressed into service on this route ahead of Eid-ul-Azha to ease the pressure yet, it’s getting difficult to cope with the rush, said sources at Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation office in Daulatdia.
As the country's important waterways, this route connects 21 southwestern districts with the capital.
‘In general, 16 ferries ply on this route, but a total of 21 ferries have been running on this route for last three days,’ Shafiqul Islam, manager of BIWTA Daulatdia office told UNB.
Meanwhile, a ferry 'Chandra Mallika' was kept in Modhumoti, the floating workshop, for sudden mechanical problem on Wednesday morning, he added.
‘Due to the pressure of vehicles on this route, eight-kilometre tailback was created on Daulatdia-Khulna highway on Wednesday night. Later in the morning, it eased a little,’ he further said.
Moreover, there has been a sharp rise of water in the Padma, he said. ‘Due to that, all ferries have to ply three kilometer extra, taking almost double of the normal time,’ he said.
Besides, the authorities could not be able to use ghat no. 2 as a rescue ship was anchored there, he added.
Truck driver Masud Sheikh coming from Magura said he was trapped in a long queue since Wednesday afternoon.
‘As the cattle-laden trucks and the passenger buses have to be cleared on priority basis, we have to wait for long,’ he said.
‘But, if anybody buys a ferry ticket with some extra money through local influential brokers, he can cross the river early,’ he alleged.
Eid-ul-Azha, the second largest religious festival of the Muslims, will be celebrated across Bangladesh on August 22.