The extreme suffering of commuters caught up in the congestion caused by lack of ferries at Paturia in Manikganj and Daulatdia in Rajbari, is totally unacceptable. This vital river link between the capital and the country’s south and southeast region simply cannot remain in this condition.
According to Saturday’s Prothom Alo, six of the 19 ferries on the Daulatdia-Paturia river route have been inoperative for the last seven days. With the ferry route of Shimulia, Munshiganj and Kathalbari, Madaripur, hardly navigable at present, cargo trucks and passenger buses from there are now crowding along the Paturia-Daulatdia route. This has resulted in extreme traffic congestion at both ferry terminals on either side of the river. The passengers and transport workers have to sit for hours in the scorching heat.The out-of-order ferries should be repaired on an urgent basis, but this is not being done. The Bangladesh Internal Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC) is responsible for ferry repairs. According to BIWTC’s Aricha office engineering department, three of the six inoperative ferries are being repaid locally and the other three at the Narayanganj dockyard.Repairs at the dockyard are inevitably held up due to tardy and often shoddy work. Makeshift repairs result in the ferries soon breaking down all over again.
It is also imperative to resolve the navigability crisis along the Shimulia and Kathalbari river routes. BIWTC is responsible for this too. It is obviously the BIWTC authorities that are responsible for the prevailing predicament. We would like to draw the shipping ministry’s attention to the matter.