The Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation authorities on early Saturday decided that ferries would not move on two major river-routes, Paturia-Daulatdia and Shimulia-Banglabazar, in the river Padma during daytime from Saturday morning to contain spread of Covid infection.
The ferries would, however, ply on the two major routes during nighttime only for carrying goods-laden vehicles to keep the supply system undisturbed, BIWTC public relations officer Nazrul Islam Misha told New Age around 1:30am on Saturday.
He said that decision was given by the corporation chairman Syed Md Tajul Islam midnight past Friday.
The two major river routes connect people of 21 districts of the south and southwestern region of Bangladesh with Dhaka and other parts of the country.
Nazrul said that the decision was taken in the backdrop of the authorities’ past few days’ observation that there was a huge rush of people and vehicles leaving Dhaka and adjacent areas at the ferry jetties and on ferries largely ignoring health regulations amid the ongoing restrictions.
The BIWTC official also said that the health and family welfare ministry earlier contacted BIWTC to take initiatives to prevent people to go home by ferries.
The decision of daytime restrictions on ferry movement came following that, he added.
Passengers on foot and vehicles crowded major ferry terminals on Friday on the 24th day of the current restrictions to cross the River for south and southwestern 21 districts, or almost one-third of Bangladesh districts, ahead of the upcoming Eid-ul-Fitr.
Some of the ferries were seen to carry only passengers as there was immense pressure of travelers, in which no social distancing was maintained.
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