Ferries at the widely used Shimulia-Banglabazar have remained suspended since August 13
Ferry services will be officially launched at the Majhirghat-Shimulia route from Friday, after the completion of a new terminal at the Zajira end.
The route was opened on a test basis on Thursday and will be opened to the public from Friday, reports Bangla Tribune.
The decision comes after the government shut down the Shimulia-Banglabazar routes following three instances of ferries hitting Padma Bridge pillars.
Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) started the construction of the ferry terminal on August 21 in order to avoid repeated accidents against the pillars.
“The ministry of shipping has planned to relocate the ferry terminal to avoid vessels colliding with the under-construction Padma Bridge,” Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC) Dhaka division Executive Engineer Motiul said.
He said heavy duty vessels (passenger and freight) will not be allowed on the Shimulia-Banglabazar ferries until the strong current in the Padma River subsides in order to avoid collisions with the pillars of the bridge.
Meanwhile, BIWTA Dhaka division Assistant Technical Engineer Faisal Hossain, says that for now only emergency vehicles like ambulances and government vehicles can cross the river on small ferries in the new route.
“Zajira's roads are narrow and not suitable for heavy vehicles,” he said, adding no decisions have yet been taken to widen the roads.
Earlier on August 18, ferry services on the Shimulia-Banglabazar route were suspended for an indefinite period due to the strong current in the Padma River.
Passengers and vehicles have been using the alternate Paturia-Doulatdia and Chandpur-Shariatpur routes to cross the river leading to long queues of vehicles.
Three ferries have hit the pillars of the Padma Bridge so far with the latest incident being reported on August 13.
A ferry named ‘Kakoli’ slammed into a pillar of the under-construction bridge just four days after a similar incident on August 9, when ro-ro ferry Birshreshtha Jahangir hit pillar No 10.
Earlier on July 23, ferry Shahjalal collided with pillar No 17 of the Padma Bridge, leaving at least 20 passengers injured.
Ferry operators have attributed the accidents to the heavy currents in the river.