Garment workers have flooded the Shimulia-Banglabazar ghat due to the reopening of the factory. Crowds of garment workers as well as private cars and the general public can be seen on the ferry.
Massive crowds of numerous people have been seen at Shimulia Ghat since Saturday morning. Thousands of passengers and private vehicles are crossing the nine ferries plying the route, ignoring strict restrictions.
Even if the ferry is open only for emergency and restricted cargo vehicles, it is not being complied with. Every ferry leaving from Banglabazar Ghat can be seen crowded with Dhaka-bound passengers. Hygiene and social distance are not possible under the pressure of passengers.
Meanwhile, Dhaka-bound passengers and garment workers arriving at Shimulia Ghat are in dire straits due to the transport crisis. They are coming to Dhaka in small vehicles avoiding the police check post on the road. Passengers have to pay two to three times more fare.
Yasmin Akhter, who works at the Nabinagar Garment Factory, said she was returning to Dhaka after receiving news of the opening of the garment factory. She is being forced to go to Dhaka. If not, there will be no job.
Habibur Rahman, a worker in a garment factory in Gazipur, said, "I work for a garment company because of my financial instability. So I have to join the work During this pandemic.
Ashikur Rahman, another garment worker, said the government had opened the garments. Authorities could have opened the transportation along with that. Then workers would not have to go to Dhaka with five times of increased fare.
Shiblu Mia, a garment worker in Ashulia said, ‘I went to the home on Eid holidays. I heard on Friday night that the garments are open from 1st August. Suddenly the garments were opened in this way. The government only listens to the owners and moneylenders. They do not think about us.”
Shafiqul Islam, deputy general manager of Shimulia Ghat of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC), said there were nine ferries plying the route. The number of passengers going to Banglabazar from Shimulia is less. There is no presence of vehicles at the wharf.
There is no need to wait for the vehicles coming for crossing in case of emergency as there is no traffic pressure. He added that the pressure of passengers and vehicles from Banglabazar to Shimuliaghat is very high. There is pressure on every ferry coming from Banglabazar Ghat. With the opening of the garment factory, the presence of passengers is becoming more noticeable.