The authorities of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation have decided to increase the number of ferries on two major river routsm Shimulia-Banglabazar and Paturia-Daulatdia, on the Padma in line with increased number of passengers and transports at the terminals.
The authorities took the decision amid Covid restrictions in the backdrop of rush of people, heading towards south and south western districts from Dhaka and adjoining areas, at the ferry terminals flouting health guidelines.
BIWTC Aricha office deputy general manager Zillur Rahman on Monday evening said that they were instructed from their high ups to increase the number of ferries if the number of people at the terminal increased.
He said that they had taken initiatives as per the instructions but declined to inform the number of ferries plying on Paturia-Daulatdia route.
BIWTC authorities on early May 8 decided that ferries would not move on the two major river-routes, Paturia-Daulatdia and Shimulia-Banglabazar, in the river Padma during daytime from the morning to contain the spread of Covid-19 infection.
Later on the day, they operated at least five ferries with hundreds of passengers from Shimulia and Paturia terminals on humanitarian grounds.
The rush of home-bound people ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr, however, continued on Monday violating the government’s Covid restrictions on movement and ignoring risks of coronavirus infection.
Several thousand south-west districts bound travellers were seen crossing the River Padma by ferries on Shimulia-Banglabazar route illegally, though the government had deployed Border Guard Bangladesh members, besides the police and other agencies, to check the rush of people at the ferry terminals, in Munshiganj and Manikganj in particular.
The Cabinet Division on May 5 extended the current Covid restrictions till May 16 and allowed intra-district road public transport services after 22 days while kept the ban on train, launch and inter-district bus services in force.
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from Bangladesh