People return to Dhaka crowding ferries, small vehicles

Staff Correspondent | Published: 14:27, May 29,2020 | Updated: 01:01, May 30,2020


Thousands of people continued to return to Dhaka crowding ferries and different vehicles without maintaining social distancing after the celebration of Eid as the general holidays aimed at containing coronavirus ends today.

Officials of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation said that the rush of Dhaka-bound people increased on the day on Kathalbari-Shimulia and Daulatdia-Paturia water channels and they were struggling to control the crowd.

The capital’s entry points like Gabtoli and Abdullahpur also remained busy from the morning with the rush of people from outside.

Earlier on May 25, Eid-ul-Fitr was celebrated and prior to the festival thousands of homebound people left the capital in a similar way as police had withdrawn all check-posts at the city exit points.

From Friday morning, people from 21 southern districts crowded ferries to cross the River Padma.

BIWTC manager at Kathalbari ferry terminal, Md Abdul Aleem, told New Age that several thousand people towards the capital crossed the river crowding the ferries at this terminal from the morning.

‘Most of them come by autos, rickshaws and motorbikes and most of them are not wearing any masks or gloves. Fourteen ferries are plying on the route currently, and the people did not follow any social distancing,’ he said.

‘What can our five or six staff can do?’ he said.

Aleem also said that there were 20 to 30 police members also to control the crowd whereas all the efforts went in vain.

New Age correspondent in Munshiganj reports that at around 12:30pm, around 300 vehicles queued up at Shimulia station area to cross the river.

BIWTC Shimulia ferry terminal assistant manager (commercial) Md Faisal Hossain said that as the movement of speed boats and launches were halted the pressure of passengers on ferries was tremendous.

Our correspondent in Manikganj reports that thousands of people came at Daulatdia ferry terminal area by smaller and rented vehicles like three-wheelers, rickshaws, private cars, microbuses and motorcycles and at Paturia point they also boarded the transports to go to Dhaka.

As huge people arrived, this could increase the virus infection, said some passengers.

In absence of public transports the vehicles drivers were charging extra from the passengers.

Motaleb Mia, an apparel worker, said that he came from Faridpur to Daulatdia in a three wheeler paying Tk 500 and from Paturia he have to go to Nabinagar in rented microbuses at the expense of Tk 500.

BIWTC manager (commercial) at Daulatdia ferry terminal, Abu Abdullah Rony, said that the rush of people to Dhaka increased Friday compared with that of Thursday.

In Abdullahpur and Gabtoli areas, a huge number of people were seen to coming back boarding different vehicles.

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