A ferry has hit the span of Padma Bridge on Tuesday. Passenger ferries have recently hit some pillars of the bridge for several times.
Earlier, the same ferry hit pillar 10 of the Padma Bridge on the evening of August 9. Since then the ferry was anchored at Shimulia Ghat. The ferry was heading to Paturia on Tuesday after it was repaired. However, on the way to Shimulia it hit the bridge again.
The ferry, Birsreshtha Jahangir, hit the 1-B span between pillars 2 and 3 of the Padma Bridge on Tuesday on its way from Shimulia to Paturia Ghat.
The ferry’s mast broke in the incident. However, it could not be known whether any damage was done to the span of the bridge.
The ferry Birsreshtha Jahangir left Shimulia Ghat at around 7am in the morning. The incident took place while crossing the Padma Bridge after a while.
The Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project (PMBP) authorities think that there was an extra part on top of the ferry.
The chairman of BIWTC Syed Md Tajul Islam said “The incident took place due to negligence. Actions will be taken against those responsible for this.”
Dewan Abdul Quader, Executive Engineer of Padma Bridge said, “As far as we know, the mast of the ferry Birsreshtha Jahangir broke when it collided with the 1-B span between the 2nd and 3rd pillars of Padma Bridge. At first BIWTC did not admit it but later they confirmed the matter.”
Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader visited the spot on Tuesday afternoon after the incident. He said the incident won’t be taken lightly.
“The Padma Bridge is one of the top priority projects of the government. We will take action after proper investigation,” he added.
On the other hand, State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury said, “We want these incidents to be properly investigated and the perpetrators to be punished. It will be investigated whether the repeated incidents of ferries’ hitting the Padma Bridge is a conspiracy or not.”
Within two months, five more ferries hit the pillars of the Padma Bridge five times. Ferries hit the pillars of the bridge on July 2, 20 and 23 and on August 9 and 13.
A committee was formed to investigate these incidents. The ferry drivers have also been suspended after the incidents.
These incidents have raised questions about the fitness of the ferries and competence of the drivers. The BIWTC stopped ferry service on the Shimulia-Banglabazar route from August 18, citing strong currents in the Padma.
Padma Bridge is the dream of millions of Bangladeshis. Common people and netizens reacted strongly after such repeated incidents.