Ferry hits Padma Bridge pillar again

Carryout an effective investigation

Published : 10 Aug 2021 08:46 PM | Updated : 11 Aug 2021 12:37 AM

We express deep concern over the repeated collisions between ferries and pillars of the Padma Bridge. A ro-ro ferry Birshreshtha Jahangir hit pillar No 10 of Padma Multiple Bridge on Monday evening, leaving over 13 people injured. Earlier on July 23 at least 20 people were injured when a ro-ro Shahjalal ferry hit pillar No 17 of Padma Multiple Bridge.

Following the two accidents some of the concrete on the affected pillars had been chipped off in the collision. Both the ferries were heading towards Shimulia Ghat from Bangla Bazar in Madaripur carrying many people and various vehicles during the accident. Within the span of 17 days, the under construction Padma Bridge experienced two accidents. We think it is very unfortunate and annoying for all of us as it seems that the relevant authorities did not take the previous collision seriously at all.  Though the bridge did not suffer much damage but such repeated incidents cannot be accepted and tolerated any more.

The Padma Bridge, a multipurpose road-rail bridge across the Padma River, is a dream of millions of people of the country as it will change the economic landscape of southwestern Bangladesh contribute to communication, trade, industry, tourism and many other sectors in various ways.

Such repeated incidents cannot be 

accepted and tolerated any more 

It is the largest construction infrastructure since the independence of Bangladesh initiated by the dynamic and visionary leader Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The construction work began in December, 2015 with the government’s own fund.

We think there had been a deep rooted conspiracy to stop the World Bank from funding the Padma Bridge since the beginning of the construction. The conspirators at home and abroad who wanted to stall the Padma Bridge project are still active.

Therefore, the government must take the incident seriously and ask the authorities concerned to carry out investigations against the inland master officers, in-charge of the Shahjalal and Birshreshtha Jahangir ferries and other staffs alongside those involved in conspiracy to obstruct the Padma Bridge project.

The probe committee formed by the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC) after the first incident recommended shifting the current locations of the ferry terminals on the Shimulia-Banglabazar route to avoid further collision between the vessels and the Padma Bridge.

However, we think such accident investigation policy should be clear, comprehensive and reasonable. We believe only an effective investigation can unearth the significant factors that contribute to identify the reason.