Travelers stranded at Shimulia terminal as government suspends ferry services
May 8, 2021, 2:49 p.m.
May 8, 2021, 8:22 p.m.
Dozens of people and vehicles are stranded at the Shimulia ferry terminal in Munshiganj after authorities suspended day ferry services to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Ferry services on the route were halted at 3:30 a.m. on Saturday, said Shafiqul Islam, deputy general manager of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation at the Mawa ferry terminal. But he did not stop the influx of travelers.
The BIWTC decided to stop daytime ferry services from Saturday after large numbers of people crossed the river on Friday. Ferries will now only operate on the Paturia-Daulatdia and Shimulia-Bangladesh routes at night, reports bdnews24.com.
“Thousands of people gathered at the terminal on Friday, defying government health guidelines. Many did not even wear masks. Ferry services have been closed to avoid risks, ”Shafiqul said.
Meanwhile, the sudden closure of ferries caused immense suffering to travelers. A long line of vehicles formed in the terminal area.
The closure of public transport has resulted in travelers paying extra for taxis while some have chosen to walk to the port. Return is not an option for many as they do not have the money for transportation. Many reside in the terminal area and suffer from the sweltering heat.
There is no crossing of the Padma as launchers, speedboats and ferries are closed, Shafiqul said. In addition, the authorities and the river police are closely monitoring the procedure.
In the morning, people were seen trying to cross the river by fishing trawlers. But the administration stopped them and told people to come back.