The pressure of Dhaka-bound passengers on the Shimulia-Banglabazar route continues as factories reopen. As lunches have started to ply, they have been seen carrying over their capacity and crossing the Padma. There are hundreds of small and large vehicles waiting to cross, but the number of freight trucks is higher.
The health rules and social distance are being ignored in the launch. There is also a risk of accidents.
After reaching Shimulia Ghat passengers take various transports including buses to reach their destinations. Also, many passengers are seen rushing to their destinations in low-speed vehicles, including trucks.
Garment worker Majeda Begum, who works in a garment factory in Narayanganj, said that she crossed the river without any hassle in the launch. However, she had to pay more to reach Pagla Bazar ghat in Faridpur. Now she will go to Dhaka on a bus from Shimulia ghat.
Ruhul Mia travelled from Barisal to Bangla Bazar Ghat with his five family members and spent over Tk 2000. He will reach Shimulia Ghat and leave by bus for Dhaka.
Mahbub Rahman, assistant manager of BIWTC Shimulia ghat, said, "There are currently 10 ferries plying the route. Even today a lot of passengers are coming on the ferry. However, with the launch, the passenger pressure has decreased a lot."
BIWTA Shimulia launch dock inspector Md Soleiman said, "There were 86 launches operating on the two routes. The number of passengers going to South Bengal is less. However, there is pressure of Dhaka-bound passengers. All launches will run until noon. Passengers are being encouraged to follow the hygiene rules."