Movement of ferries carrying heavy vehicles restricted under Padma Bridge following multiple mishaps
Ferries on the Shimulia-Banglabazar route in Munshiganj were operating on a limited scale on Wednesday, even though the strict Covid-19 lockdown has been relaxed after 19 days.
No heavy vehicles were allowed to board the ferries on that route in line with a government directive that restricted the movement of ferries carrying such vehicles under the Padma Bridge.
The government move came after ferries crashed into the pillars of the under-construction bridge after losing control due to the strong currents on the river on multiple occasions over the past few weeks.
BIWTC Manager at Shimulia ghat Safayet Ahmed told Dhaka Tribune that they were maintaining the decision, taken by the cabinet since Monday’s mishap, on no ferries with heavy vehicles under the bridge until the currents subside.
Five ferries operating since the morning were seen only carrying passengers and light vehicles, including cars and ambulances.
However, no decision was announced regarding the emergency and cargo-carrying vehicles, said Shafayet. “A meeting on this is underway.”
He added that many vehicles were left stranded on both sides of the river, causing long tailbacks, as no heavy vehicle was allowed to board the ferries.
On Monday evening, on the way from Banglabazar to Shimulia, a Ro-Ro ferry carrying 27 vehicles and over 100 passengers had hit Padma Bridge’s pillar No 10, leaving some 12 passengers injured and two cars damaged.
A five-member committee was later formed to investigate the incident.
Earlier, on July 23, another ferry had crashed into the under-construction bridge’s pillar No 7.