A certain Bappi Sheikh along with his family was driving towards Dhaka from Manirampur of Jashore. Initially he drove his car to terminal 5 at Daulatdia, spotting a ferry there.
When he had drove up his car to the ghat, some ferry staff informed him that another roll-on-roll-off (Ro Ro) ferry named Shah Ali was scheduled to depart for Paturia from the terminal 3 first.
The Ro Ro ferry Birshrestha Matiur Rahman would be the second and the third one would departure from the terminal 5.
As instructed by the ferry staff, Bappi Sheikh drove over to terminal 3. It was difficult to make his way through the huge crowds of passengers and vehicles on the road.
“If there was any instruction at the zero point or the entrance of terminal 5, passengers wouldn’t have to rush around in the scorching heat,” Bappi said angrily. Some other passengers and drivers echoed Bappi's annoyance.
Sujan Saha, who words for a private company, was travelling to Dhaka from Kushtia. He reached Daulatdia by a reserved three-wheeler along with some other passengers.
The driver of the three-wheeler dropped them at the terminal 5. However, as the departure of the Ro Ro ferry from the ghat was being delayed, they rushed to the terminal 3 but failed to board the ferry there as it had just left.
“The distance between terminals 5 and 3 is several hundred metres. Is it easy to rush here and there in the scorching heat? This is nothing but negligence by the terminal authorities,” Sujon said.
Firoz Sheikh, assistant managing director at the Daulatdia station of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC), said that they do not regulate the arrival and departure of the ferries.
“Ferry masters maintain the serial. The ferry that has arrived first at the ghat will leave earlier following the serial,” he said adding that the BIWTC could not maintain order due to the huge crowds of the passengers amid the government-imposed lockdown.
“The passengers are boarding on the ferry in any way they can. It is difficult to manage so many people,” he concluded.