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Fog disrupts ferry services

Several thousand passengers on Paturia-Daulatdia and Shimulia-Kathalbari ferry routes were stuck for several hours on both sides of the Padma due to dense fog yesterday.

People, especially women and children, have been suffering badly as ferry services were disrupted for three consecutive days resulting in huge traffic jams on both routes, report our correspondents there.

Apart from the river routes, passengers travelling by air also had to suffer as at least 12 flights were delayed due to dense fog at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, officials told The Daily Star.

Ferry services on Paturia-Daulatdia route remained suspended for eight hours from early yesterday causing severe gridlocks on both sides of the river, especially at Paturia, reports our Manikganj correspondent.

Shafiqul Islam, manager of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC) at Daulatdia, said ferry operation on the route remained suspended since 2:00am due to the fog.

Four ferries were forced to anchor mid river, he added.

Besides, seven ferries remained stranded at Paturia and five at Daulatdia since 2:00am due to poor visibility, causing untold sufferings to several thousand passengers in the chilly weather, the officials said.

The services resumed around 10:30am yesterday when fog cleared, Shafiqul Islam said.

“Density of the fog was so thick around the river basin that we had to wait till 10:30am to resume ferry operation on Paturia-Daulatdia route,” said Nasir Mohammad Chowdhury, assistant general manager of BIWTC at Aricha.

Around 700 vehicles were seen stuck in an around six km long queue at Paturia, while around 600 vehicles were lined up on Daulatdia side, added our correspondent.

Ferry services were suspended on Shimulia-Kathalbari route for eight hours since 2:00pm yesterday, writes our Munshiganj correspondent.

Seven ferries with more than a thousand passengers on board got stuck in the Padma for over eight hours due to the fog.

Besides, around 400 buses were stranded at Shimulia due to suspension of ferry services, said the assistant general manager of BIWTC, Shimulia Ferry Ghat.

Mohammad Shuvo, a bus passenger heading for Dhaka, said it took 12 hours for their bus to reach Daulatdia ghat from Jessore instead of the usual three hours.

“I started my journey at 6:50am yesterday and reached Daulatdia Ghat at 6:30pm,” he added.

Kamal Hossain, a staff of a coach operator, said schedule of their trips has collapsed.

AKM Rezaul Karim, spokesperson, Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh, said around 12 outbound flights scheduled to fly from HSIA between 7:30am and 10:40am yesterday were delayed due to the fog.

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