Ferry terminals crowded with people ahead of ‘strict lockdown’

Hundreds of people from Dhaka on Monday thronged the major ferry terminals in the country ahead of the ‘complete lockdown’ to be imposed from April 14.

Since morning people came at Shimulia, Banglabazar, Paturia and Aricha ferry terminals to cross the River Padma to reach the southern districts.

In the afternoon hundreds of vehicles were seen waiting at Shimulia and Paturia terminals to cross the River Padma.

They came to the terminals by cars, three-wheeler vehicles and even by pickup vans.

Some speedboats were seen plying across the river defying restrictions.

The journeys continued violating the instructions amid the ongoing restrictions on public movement and businesses.

The Cabinet Division on Sunday issued a circular extending the restrictions till 6:00am on April 14 which started from 6:00am on April 5.

Earlier on Saturday Road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader said that the ongoing restrictions would continue on April 12 and April 13 and then, from April 14, ‘more strict and complete lockdown’ would be imposed.

The Cabinet Division on April 4 issued an 11-point instruction restricting public movement and businesses between April 5 and April 11.

New Age correspondent in Munshiganj reported that since Monday morning pressure of passengers were seen both at Shimulia and Banglabazar terminals.

People crowded the ferries with vehicles while Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation was operating 14 ferries on the Shimulia-Banglabazar route in the River Padma.

Around 12:30pm more than 900 goods carrying vehicles and cars were seen waiting at Shimulia terminal and at Mawa intersection areas, said Mawa traffic inspector Md Hillal.

Some trawlers were also seen carrying passengers on the route.

The terminal assistant manager Prafulla Chowhan said that the number of passengers on the route increased following the announcement of the lockdown.

The number of cars was higher than other vehicles.

New Age correspondent in Manikganj reported that Since Monday morning hundreds of people gathered at the Paturia ferry terminal to cross the river.

Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation on the day operated 15 ferries out of 16 on the Paturia-Daultadia route due to increased pressure of people on the southern-district routes.

Around 12:00pm around 300 goods-laden vehicles and 200 cars were seen waiting at the Paturia terminal, said the corporation deputy general manager (ferry services) Zillur Rahman.

No health safety measures and social distancing was maintained in the terminal area.

Mohammad Kayes, a passenger at the terminal, said that he came from Dhaka ahead of lockdown by different transports including CNG auto rickshaw and pickup van by share.

Some speedboats were seen plying from Daulatdia to Paturia carrying passengers defying restrictions.

On the day the corporation operated four ferries on Aricha-Kazirhat water route due to pressure of the people coming out of the capital.

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