More than 1,200 vehicles are at a standstill on both sides of the Paturia-Daulatdia ferry route due to shortage of ferries on the busiest naval route of the country.
Though passenger buses, private cars and trucks carrying emergency goods are able to cross over after a wait of around two hours on a priority basis, trucks carrying general goods have to wait up to 20 hours.
Zillur Rahman, deputy general manager of Aricha office of BIWTA said there are a total of 19 ferries of large and small sizes. Off them, six ferries have been sent for repair leading to a shortage of ferries on the route.
Responding to the crisis, Salam Hossain, manager at the Aricha office of the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) said due to a disruption in ferry services on the Shimulia-Kathalbari route, the pressure of south-westbound vehicles on the Paturia ferry terminal has increased.
There is a shortage of ferry services on this naval route, Salam added. More than 700 trucks carrying general goods and 200 buses and small vehicles remained stranded at the Paturia ferry ghat area as of filing of this report at 3pm on Tuesday.
Aricha Manager Salam said the number of trucks carrying general goods are increasing over time as the emergency goods carrier and small vehicles have been given priority considering the sufferings of passengers.
Oliar Rahman, a Magurabound truck driver, said he reached Uthuli link road in the Paturia ferry ghat area on Monday evening but the Shibalay police stopped him from moving until Tuesday morning due to traffic on the ferry route.
He made it to the Paturia ferry ghat truck terminal at 10am on Tuesday but could not manage a ticket for crossing the ferry route as of 2pm. He hoped to cross the river at midnight if a ticket could be managed by afternoon.
Another truck driver Anower Hossain sought the intervention of authorities concerned to get rid of this suffering.
Zillur Rahman said more than 900 vehicles are stranded at Paturia ferry ghat area and 300 in the Rajbari ferry ghat area as of filing of this report.