Eid passengers suffer for rush

19 July 2021

Syed Shemul Parvez :
Thousands of Eid holidaymakers are still leaving Dhaka to celebrate the festival with their families, ignoring the Corona virus infection. All the bus terminals in the capital were seen crowded on Sunday.
The number of home-going people has increased on roads, highways and ferries which also have increased traffic congestions.
Several hundred vehicles were stuck in traffic jam. As a result, traffic gridlock was several times longer than the usual time to reach the destination.
Al Aamin, a passenger, said he was going to his hometown by a bus from Gulistan. When the bus reached the  Mawa intersection area, it got stuck in heavy traffic. Only 10 minute ride took about 2 hours as the bus could not move freely forward.
In extreme heat, the passengers were in a state of suffocation. As a result, many passengers got off the bus and walked to their destinations, he said.
Allegation also rose that most of the vehicles and launches have been charging 100 per cent more fare instead of 60 per cent extra from the passengers ignoring the government instructions.
Meanwhile, home-bound people from 21 districts of South Bengal were flocking to Shimulia Ghat in Munshiganj to celebrate the occasion of Eid till the time of filing this report last night.
Thousands of people were seen crossing the Padma river on ferries and launches from different parts of the country, including Dhaka, since Sunday morning.
Besides, more than 500 goods trucks and private vehicles were seen waiting at the ferry ghat to cross the river.
Though the government has opened all categories of transports under certain condition ahead of the holy Eid-ul-Azha, the
hygiene rules are not being followed at all. The minimum physical distance was not maintained in the ferry ghat. Even a large number of passengers are not wearing masks and using sanitisers.
Since yesterday morning, 14 out of 17 ferries and 83 launches have plied vehicles and passengers.
All the ferries were also carrying passengers with full capacity. Passengers were also seen on the deck of the launch.
Shafiqul Islam, Assistant Deputy General Manager, Shimulia Ghat, Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC) yesterday said there were currently 14 ferries plying the route.
More than 500 vehicles carrying goods and passengers were seen waiting to cross the Shimulia Ghat area.
BIWTC Shimuliaghat Marine Officer said the ferries from Shimulia to Banglabazar Ghat were taking double time due to rising water and strong currents in the river.
Each ferry has to travel 3-4 km more against the current in the river. Three ferries that do not have the capacity to move against the current were seen anchored on both sides of the navigable route.
The government has relaxed the ongoing lockdown for eight days from July 14 midnight to 6.00am on July 23 Thursday to celebrate Eid-ul-Azha to be held on July 21. The strictest lockdown will start again from July 23.

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