Havoc on highways
Long tailbacks and incessant rain yesterday caused untold sufferings to thousands of people travelling on the Dhaka-Tangail highway.
Passengers were also stranded on the Paturia-Daulatdia route in Manikganj and the Shimulia-Kathalbari route in Munshiganj as the ferry services across the Padma was suspended for hours due to inclement weather.
For the same reason, the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority halted operations of all types of vessels across the country from 4:00pm yesterday until further notice, Mobarak Hossain Mojumder, public relations officer of BIWTA, told The Daily Star.
There has been unremitting rain for the last three days following a depression over the Bay of Bengal. The Dhaka Met office said the rain may ease off today.
Yesterday, many parts of the major streets in the capital remained inundated for hours. Bus passengers from the city had to suffer first to reach terminals, then to cross the city's exit points and finally on the highways. Many got drenched before boarding the vehicles.
The passengers' agony only increased on the Dhaka-Tangail highway as they had to remain stuck in jam for hours amid the rain.
Our Tangail correspondent reported that hundreds of vehicles had been moving quite slowly since Friday morning on the road, which had numerous potholes hidden under stagnant water. At some places, vehicles broke down right in the middle of the road, leading to tailbacks. The slow movement of the vehicles made the situation even more complicated.
DISRUPTION IN FERRY SERVICES
Mohammad Masum boarded a Satkhira-bound bus from Dhaka's Shyamoli around 6:45pm on Friday. He, however, was trapped near the Paturia Ferry Ghat for around 14 hours.
"I don't know when I will reach home," he said.
Masum said there was a long tailback on the highway towards the ghat.
Our Munshiganj correspondent reported that the authorities suspended operations of ferries and all other types of vessels at the Mawa Ghat due to the bad weather.
The decision was made on safety grounds.
However, the stranded passengers were taken to the other side of the Padma river on a special ferry after they reached the terminal through the Shimulia-Kathalbari route.
Our Manikganj correspondent reported that the ferry service in Aricha Ghat remained suspended for 11 hours until yesterday noon.
Hundreds of vehicles remained stuck on the highway in many places of Mirzapur, Basail, Sadar and Kalihati upazilas in Tangail.
An around 15-kilometre tailback of several hundred vehicles was created from Chandra of Gazipur to Mirzapur in Tangail yesterday.
The road was dug up at different places, including in Square, Nasir Glass Factory, Cadet College, Mill Gate, Sohagpur and Gorai areas for widening. It, however, made things difficult for the passengers.
Bus passenger Shamin Kabir said he started from Joypurhat around 11:30pm on Friday and reached Tangail's Elenga at 3:20am on Saturday. His bus, however, had been stuck at Elenga until 10:00am yesterday.
“I could not get down from the bus for a single moment during these hours due to the incessant rain. I can't explain my sufferings in words,” he added.