Thousands of people crowded to the Kathalbari and Shimulia river terminals early yesterday to return to Dhaka, ignoring the risk of the Covid-19 infection.
And the authorities had a tough time dealing with them.
Earlier, two ferries were added to reduce the excessive pressure of passengers. Seventeen ferries are now plying from the Mawa ferry terminal.
Tarek Khan, who returned to Dhaka early yesterday said, "All the ferries were overcrowded as no launch or speedboat was available."
People are returning to Dhaka en masse to come to work after the Eid vacation through other entrances to Dhaka city as well, in total disregard of social distancing and other health guidelines.
As public transportation remains suspended, people started returning to Dhaka by all kinds of vehicles and vessels, from ferries through the waterways to three-wheelers, pickup vans, and cars on the roads. Some even had to walk through different areas to enter the capital while many had to pay a high fare.
Aminul Islam, who came through the Mawa ferry terminal, said, "After getting off the ferry, people are coming to Dhaka either by car, motorcycle or taxi cab, paying a fare of Tk400-600, although the regular fare is Tk70-150."
Salah Uddin from Bhola, a garment factory worker in Dhaka, said, "I had to change vehicles several times, which cost me Tk3,500. But usually, it takes Tk500-600 to reach my workplace. "
"Many people are facing the same problem."
There were throngs of people from northern districts at the entrance to Jamuna Bridge who returned to Dhaka through various means paying a high fare as well.
Working people returned to their workplaces in Dhaka by pickup van, cars, motorbikes, three-wheelers, and CNG-run auto-rickshaws.
Also, thousands of people returned to Dhaka through the Daulatdia-Paturia terminal – the entry point for people of 21 southwestern districts.
Baten, a resident of Mirpur Mazar Road, said, "At noon there was a high flow of people at Gabtoli who came through Paturia from different districts. Most of them were packed into microbuses."
People from southeastern districts were also seen coming to Dhaka using the Meghna Bridge.
They have no other choice but to use microbuses or other small vehicles and pay a higher than normal fare.