Eid rush forces resumption of Shimulia-Banglabazar ferry services

Authorities have reopened all ferry terminals on the Shimulia-Banglabazar river route and resumed regular services, hours after five people were killed in separate stampedes.

The decision taken on Wednesday afternoon was followed by the movement of all vehicles carrying either passengers or cargos through the route, reports Bangla Tribune.

Sources at Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTA) said the authorities had no choice but to restore the services because of the excessive rush of Eid holidaymakers.

Earlier in the day, on two occasions, five people were killed on the spot and at least 50 others injured when hundreds of people at once rushed and tried to get off the ferries they were on at the Banglabazar terminal.

State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury told Bangla Tribune that it was an uphill task to stop people from going to village homes during the Eid holidays — pandemic or no pandemic.

“We couldn’t stop people from travelling. Unfortunately, we saw these accidents happen. The ferry services have been restored over the fear that people may attack and damage the terminals and adjoining properties,” he said.

Evil quarters are everywhere, he added, hinting at troublemakers.

The rush of home-goers had started a week ago despite the fact that the government asked all to stay at their present locations to limit the spread of Covid-19, which has killed 12,045 people so far around the country.

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