Motorcyclists suffer with ferries closed, Padma Bridge off-limits

After the government banned motorcycles from the Padma Bridge following congestion, disorder and a deadly accident on the day of its opening, motorcyclists who tried to cross the river by ferries suffered immensely due to a closure of river transport services.

Shariatpur CorrespondentMunshiganj and
Published : 27 June 2022, 09:32 PM
Updated : 27 June 2022, 09:52 PM

Some of them crossed the bridge on Monday morning despite the ban, by dodging the watchful eyes of the authorities. They hired pickups that carried the motorcycles to the other side of the river through the bridge.

But as it turned out that transporting passengers on goods vehicles is prohibited, the authorities started stopping pickups hauling motorcycles and the riders in the afternoon.

Tofazzal Hossain, supervising engineer of the Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project, said they did not see any motorcyclists crossing the structure by pickups. "We’ll take action against them if we notice any such attempt."

Mostafizur Rahman, chief of Padma Bridge South Police Station, said they did not get any order to stop pickups transporting motorcycles.

The authorities, however, stopped the pickups as they were carrying the motorcyclists as passengers.

With the bridge out of bounds for them, many riders tried to cross the river by ferries from Banglabazar pier in Madaripur's Shibchar.

But only one ferry left the pier in the morning before it got stuck in a hidden shoal. It travelled to Shimulia after a rescue operation four hours later, said Faisal Ahmed, manager of the pier in Munshiganj.

Many motorcyclists, bound for the southwestern districts, had to return to Dhaka as ferry services were kept closed for the rest of the day.

File Photo

Some of those who got stranded on the other side took the Daulatdia-Paturia ferry route some 90 kilometres from Banglabazar.

Some others took a narrow 60-km route via Narasinghapur pier. From there, people can cross the Meghna river to Chandpur and travel to Dhaka via Cumilla, but not before adding at least 100 kilometres to the journey.

But those who regularly crossed the river from Munshiganj to Shariatpur or Madaripur now have no easy way to travel to the southwestern districts.

Many of them vented anger on social media over the decisions taken by the government. "If a bus accident occurs, will buses be banned from the bridge?" one of them asked in a Facebook post.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher