Passengers and drivers of south-western routes are facing untold sufferings over the last several consecutive days following disruptions of ferry services on Paturia-Daulatdia route due to poor visibility amid dense fog.
On average, daily 2000-2500 vehicles cross this route, said to be the prime route of communication of the south western part with the rest of the country.
But with the arrival of the winter season, the disruption of 10-12 caused untold miseries to people from the southern districts of Kushtia, Jessore, Jhenidah, Meherpur, Madaripur, Rajbari, Barisal, Satkhira, Khulna and Faridpur at the terminal.
Due to heavy fog, the Paturia-Daulatdia route was closed for a total of 12 hours from Tuesday 09:45 pm to 10:15 am on Wednesday.
As a result, waiting queues of thousands of vehicles were stranded in both the ferry terminal areas of the route.
However, the ferry authorities claimed that there is no way to overcome the situation and advised to avoid the Paturia-Daulatdia route.
Passenger buses and small vehicles have to wait for two to three hours to cross the navigable route but ordinary freight truck drivers have to wait day after day.
Afsana Mim, a passenger of a local bus said she and her family have been waiting in the ghat area for a long time for the ferry crossing.
"There are no toilets or healthy food shops on the side of the road which is increasing their sufferings," she said.
Abdar Rahman, driver of a truck, which was stranded six kilometers before the Paturia ferry terminal area, said waiting for a half-hour ferry crossing takes two to three days.
Yakub Ali, driver of a vegetable-laden truck (cauliflower and brinjal) from Khulna, said he got stuck at Daulatdia ghat after taking vegetables from Khulna for Dhaka.
Then after a long wait of 13 hours, finally he got a chance to cross the river.
Although the vegetables were supposed to be sold in Dhaka at midnight, he had to spend the night in the Daulatdia Ghat area as the ferry was closed.
Additional Superintendent of Police Tania Sultana of Manikganj Shibalaya Circle said ferry services are suspended for 12 to 13 hours due to heavy fog at the onset of winter.
Zillur Rahman, deputy general manager of Aricha office of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation, said there are 16 ferries on the Paturia-Daulatdia route.
"However, due to dense fog, ferry traffic is often disrupted," he added.