Due to mismanagement and disorder, for three hours no vehicles could be loaded or unloaded on the ferries of the Paturia-Daulatdia river route at Manikganj, from late Thursday night till Friday morning. And with a burgeoning number of passengers and vehicles, an inordinately long tailback built up at the Paturia ghat (ferry terminal). The tailback at 10 am Friday stretched from the ferry ghat for around 20 km along the Dhaka-Aricha highway. This has called acute suffering to thousands of people making their way home for Eid.
The pressure of homeward bound people and buses mounted at the Paturia ghat area since Thursday evening. As the night grew, more and more passenger coaches and cars joined the line of traffic. The vehicles competed to get on to the ferries before each other and disorder broke out. As a result, the pontoon got stuck and from 2:30 am no vehicles could be loaded or unloaded from the ferries.
SM Ferdous was going by car with his family to his village in Faridpur. He said they had reached somewhere near the ferry terminal at around 10 pm Thursday night. At 10 am the next morning, Friday, they still hadn’t been able to get on the ferry. He, his wife and children had to suffer the entire night sitting in the car.
Several passengers said that every Eid proper arrangements were made so that the passengers and vehicles could cross by ferry. However, this time there was no such preparation and chaos emerged. People were suffering, having to wait for 12 to 14 hours at the ferry terminal.
The local buses dropped passengers off at Paturia and then turned back towards Dhaka. The random movement of these buses caused traffic jams. Vehicles carrying sacrificial animals for Eid also congested the highway.
District traffic police inspector (TI) Russel Arafat did not reply to the several attempts to contact him over cell phone Friday morning. Assistant manager (business) of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC)’s Aricha office, Mohiuddin Russel, said the pressure of innumerable vehicles and passengers had built up as the loading and unloading of vehicles on the ferries had come to a halt.
Tailback along Dhaka-Aricha highway
With vehicles unable to cross by ferry for an extended time, from early Friday morning an inordinately long tailback was created along the Dhaka-Aricha highway. Passengers suffered as the line of vehicles stretched out bumper to bumper for around 20 km from the Tora bridge in Manikganj up till the Paturia ghat.
Barangail highway police outpost sources said that with people rushing homeward along the Dhaka-Aricha highway from Thursday evening, pressure increased on the highway. The pressure of local buses was more than the long distance passenger buses. These local buses dropped passengers off at Paturia and then turned back towards Dhaka. The random movement of these buses caused traffic jams. Vehicles carrying sacrificial animals for Eid also congested the highway.
Inspector of the Barangail highway police, Basudeb Sinha, said, the disruption of vehicles crossing by ferry and the extra pressure of traffic has caused the traffic snarl-up on the Dhaka-Aricha highway. Till 9 am Friday, the tailback stretched for around 20 km from Paturia way back to Tora. But the traffic has eased since then.