No long queues of vehicles were seen at the two ends of the Padma Bridge on Monday morning – a day after the government decided to prohibit motorcycles from plying on it until further notice.
The toll plaza at the Mawa point of the bridge saw a low turnout of vehicles today morning but many motorbikes gathered near the adjacent roads with the hope to cross the bridge.
Mostly cars and goods-laden trucks were crossing the bridge with ease as there was no tailback near the toll plaza area – a stark contrast to the scenes on Sunday, the day the long waited bridge opened for public use.
The Bridges Division banned motorcycles on the bridge from 6am today as the pressure of the two-wheeler overwhelmed the toll plaza employees and two bikers died in a crash on it yesterday (26 June).
This was the first accident reported since the Padma Bridge was opened to traffic.
The bridge authority, police, army and district administration have strengthened their monitoring and security efforts following multiple incidents of violation of the rules imposed by the Bangladesh Bridge Authority (BBA) for the bridge.
Speaking with The Business Standard, BBA Supervising Engineer (Bridge) Md Tofazzel Hossain, said, "We are not allowing motorbikes to come near the toll plaza area.
"They will not be able to cross the bridge as per the government directives."
Meanwhile, Hasibul Hamidul Haque, manager of Padma Bridge Toll Plaza (Mawa end), said, "The two barriers of the plaza which were damaged by a BRTC bus have been repaired.
"Pressure of vehicles today is quite low when compared to yesterday as motorcycles have been banned from plying the bridge."
Padma Bridge authority collected Tk2,09,40,300 toll from vehicles that crossed the bridge on the first day (26 June), after the authorities opened it to traffic at 6am.
A total of 51,316 vehicles, including a large number of motorcycles, from both sides crossed the mighty Padma in the first 20 hours using the 6.15km bridge, Bangladesh Bridge Authority Executive Engineer Md Abul Hossain confirmed.
Mawa toll plaza collected Tk10,895,900 from a total of 26,589 vehicles, while on the Jajira side the first-day toll collection amounted to Tk10,044,400 from 24,727 vehicles.