Vehicles often form long queue for lone pontoon
Four landing stations Daulatdia ferry services at Goalanda upazila of Rajbari district are under serious threat of being washed away by the river Padma, officials said.
The approach road toward landing station number 4 was devoured by the mighty river on September 17. The pontoon could not be fixed in the last six days.
‘Out of four, one landing station of the ferry terminal is now functional,’ said Md. Shafiqul Islam, manager (commerce) of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation at Daulatdia ghat.
The ferry service on the Paturia-Daulatdia route has been disrupted often since August 6 due to substantial erosions in river banks.
The roads and highways department and Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority are struggling to check the river erosions by dumping sand-laden sacks at the affected points, said Nizjam Uddin Pathan, executive engineer of BIWTA.
The BIWTA is also working to repair the landing stations to make it usable, he said.
The Daulatdia ferry terminal was installed at the confluence of the two major rivers, the Padma and the Jamuna. Now the terminal is under serious threat due to severe erosion.
‘It should be moved to safer places immediately to keep the service running,’ said Sheikh Mohammad Nasim, deputy general manager of BIWTC.
‘We wrote many times to BIWTA authority after 2013 to move the pontoons to safer places. But they did not do it yet’, he claimed.
Joint director of BIWTA at Aricha sector, Md. Abdus Salam said, ‘We have nothing to do as this is a natural course. We have been working to repair the landing stations from the early stage to keep these usable.’
Salam said: ‘Moving the pontoons to safer places will take time because of decision to be made by the department and acquisition of land’.
He said they are expecting a decision of an inter-ministerial meeting to be held soon.
Thousands of people of 21 south and south-western districts get often stranded at the terminal for hours due to the disruptions in ferry operations. Services turn difficult due to shortage of landing stations, officials said.
Source: New Age