The country's one of the busiest naval routes, Shimulia Ferry Ghat in Mawa, wore a completely deserted look on Sunday morning as Padma Bridge opened for public use.
Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority's (BIWTA) Shimulia River Port officer Shahadat Hossain said, "Launch and speed boats have been operating as usual since morning; however, the number of passengers is quite low than usual."
On a visit to the Mawa ghat area, the TBS correspondent saw the place is almost deserted while many launches and speed boats were seen waiting for passengers.
Due to the sharp decline in the number of passengers, water transports had to wait longer before leaving the terminal.
By far, twelve-speed boats have left the place for Banglabazar and Majhirkandi ghats since morning. Meanwhile, only eight launches left the terminal with fewer passengers.
Sanaullah, a Majhirkandi-bound speed boat passenger, told TBS, "My house is just beside the ghat area, that is why I chose to take the water route."
Sabiha, another passenger travelling to Faridpur via speed boat, said that she wanted to avoid the rush on the first day of the bridge opening as she is going home to visit her ailing father. Otherwise, she would have preferred to use the bridge for crossing the river.
Meanwhile, long queues of vehicles were seen waiting to cross the long-awaited Padma Bridge which opened for public use on Sunday morning.
Buses, trucks, cars, motorcycles, and ambulances were seen waiting in hundreds on the Dhaka-Mawa Expressway till the gates of the bridge opened at 6am.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the plaque on the 6.15-kilometre Padma Bridge on Saturday. She paid toll as the first traveller on the bridge.