The pressure of small vehicles increased today at the Paturia ferry terminal in Manikganj as thousands of people from the southwestern part of the country left Dhaka on private vehicles amid the ban on public transport ahead of the weeklong lockdown starting from April 14.
Owners of private vehicles were seen taking passengers by charging them three times the usual fare, reports our Manikganj correspondent.
Long queues of private cars, microbuses, CNG auto-rickshaws, and motorbikes were seen on the Dhaka-Aricha highway and Paturia Ghat since this morning. Each passenger had to pay Tk500 to Tk600 in private cars and microbus fares. The same fare was also seen for passengers travelling by motorbikes.
Tasmin Akter, a fourth-year honours student of the Faridpur Rajendra College, said she hired a private car for Tk 500 to come to Paturia Ghat from Savar whereas the usual bus fare was only Tk60 taka.
Another passenger, Priyanka Dutta, said she left Dhaka for Magura and had been waiting at the ghat for over an hour.
After the announcement of a strict lockdown beginning from April 14 was made, the extra pressure of small vehicles increased at the terminal, said Jillur Rahman, deputy general manager (commerce) of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC) at the Aricha Office. These vehicles and passengers are being ferried by 14 ferries.
Traffic Inspector Mohammad Kamal Uddin said around 200 trucks were seen stranded at Paturia Ghat while 100 small vehicles were also seen in queue this afternoon.