Padma devours Daulatdia ferry terminal | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, September 26, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:23 AM, September 26, 2020

Editorial

Padma devours Daulatdia ferry terminal

Immediate embankment essential to prevent further damage

Daulatdia ferry terminal, once again, is under threat posed by river erosion, a natural calamity faced by the region year in and year out. The mighty Padma has a ruthless record when it comes to erosion. A recent report reveals that a part of terminal-3 and its adjacent area have already been engulfed by the river over the last few days. Approach roads to pontoon 1, 2 and 3 and over 500 nearby houses were also damaged. Without immediate action, more land remains at risk. Since last year's erosion, terminal 1 and 2 still remain closed. 

While it is reassuring that Water Development Board in Rajbari and Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) jointly started dumping geo-bags to prevent further erosion, it is at best, a temporary solution. What will happen later?

Disruption of ferry services at Daulatdia as a result of river erosion has been occurring from as early as 2013. Yet, after so many years, why have the authorities failed to reach a sustainable solution? Not only does the severity of the problem impact the locomotion within the region, but it also ruins the lives of countless families living in the area as their homesteads and croplands are swallowed up, stripping them of their shelter and belongings.

Erosion at Daulatdia ferry terminal has been a topic of discussion for quite some time now. The geo-bags are of no match for the strong currents of the river. Thus, the authorities must facilitate the swift implementation of the project taken up to modernise Daulatdia and Paturia ferry terminals, which will include the construction of a 6km dam—4km upstream from the Daulatdia ferry terminal and 2km downstream—to prevent further erosion. And while that is underway, building new embankments will also help ease the woes. Constructing a new approach road and a terminal will also help curb the disruption of ferry services and prevent the never-ending tailbacks, restoring some stability to the area and the people living there. We hope that the project to strengthen the terminals will be done efficiently and without delay. 

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