Tailbacks at Mawa-Kawrakandi

mawaDFDFerry services at Mawa-Kawrakandi terminals cannot return to normal until water flowing downstream into Padma decreases.

Only 11 ferries instead of 16 were plying through the strong currents on Saturday.

More than 600 vehicles were lined up on both banks of the river because of the paucity of ferries.

Authorities say just six ferries are able to navigate the Padma during night.

The Padma was flowing just 2cm below the danger level after it rose 4cm in last 24 hours, said BIWTC Manager Sirajul Islam.

“The situation will worsen by evening when Padma crosses the danger mark,” he told bdnews24.com.

“It’s not possible for ferry services to deliver until the water level drops. These ferries used to make 10 crossings per day but the strong currents were allowing them to make 4 to 5 trips.”

More and more vehicles were gathering on the banks since a ferry that used to make four trips across Padma can only make one now, he said.
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It was also challenge to dock these vessels since portions of the terminals are submerged or have been eroded by currents, leaving not enough spaces for vehicles to disembark.

The trucks headed for the Southern districts have been stuck for two to three days.

The ferries travelling from Kawrakandi to Mawa were taking three to four times longer than usual, said Islam.

Some have been risking their lives by travelling on speedboats and launches.

Launch ML Pinak-6 was still missing after it sank with hundreds of passengers in the strong currents near Mawa on Aug 4.

Dhaka was cut off from 21 southern districts after Mawa’s terminal no 3 for RO-RO Ferries caved in to the mighty river currents on Tuesday.

Mawa terminal no 2 was prepared for limited operations to facilitate RO-RO’s crossings after 46 hours.

The work to reestablish Terminal no 3 near the one for speedboats have begun but it might take another two days to get it up and running, said BIWTA Chairman Dr Shamsuzzoha Talukder.

bdnews24