BIWTC suspends operators for ploughing ferry into Padma Bridge pillar

The Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation has suspended ferry operators Md Delwarul Islam and Md Abul Kalam Azad after their vessel slammed into a Padma Bridge pillar.

Published : 10 August 2021, 09:36 AM
Updated : 10 August 2021, 01:02 PM

Authorities say the two should have operated the ferry with more caution, said Nazrul Islam Misha, a BIWTC spokesman.

Such an incident is highly irregular, shows a lack of discipline and requires punishment, he said.

The ferry operators have been suspended temporarily because they demonstrated their lack of ability to do the job properly, he said.

After departing from the Banglabazar terminal on Monday evening with 27 vehicles aboard, the Shimulia-bound vessel, Birsreshtha Jahangir, struck pillar No. 10 of the under-construction bridge, according to the BIWTC.

A truck was tipped over on impact and landed on a car, injuring two people. They were subsequently rushed to a hospital.

The ferry hurriedly laid anchor at Shimulia's terminal No. 2 as water began to fill up the rear end of the vessel after the collision. The fire service was later called in to handle the situation.

The ferry was transporting 16 small vehicles and 11 trucks along with several passengers.

The BIWTC has formed a five-member panel convened by Director Md Rashedul Islam to investigate the incident, Nazrul Islam Misha said.

The panel will submit its report to the BIWTC in three days.

On Jul 23, a ferry hit pillar No. 17 of the Padma Bridge on its way to Shimulia from Madaripur's Banglabazar. That incident was caused by the carelessness of the ferry operators, according to the probe report.


Authorities have barred ferries carrying heavy vehicles from travelling under the Padma Bridge following two instances of them colliding with pillars in the space of several weeks.

State Minister for Shipping Minister Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury issued the directive following a meeting with officials from BIWTC and BIWTA on Tuesday, a day after the latest crash.

“Ferries loaded with heavy transports are prohibited from travelling under the Padma Bridge until strong currents subside,” he said.

These ferries have been instructed to navigate through Paturia-Daulatdia docks avoiding Mawa, while routes through Chandpur and Shariatpur will also be viable.

The construction of the bridge connecting Munshiganj’s Mawa and Shariatpur’s Jajira is almost complete. Ferries and launches now travel from Mawa’s Shimulia to Madaripur’s Banglabazar.