Infrastructure of Paturia, Daulatdia and Goalanda Ghat being changed

Amdadul Haque

Passengers of the southern parts of the country, who intend to come to the capital Dhaka by crossing the Padma River via Paturia, Daulatdia and Goalanda ferry ghats, are being harassed for a long time in various ways.

The lack of advanced terminals for arrivals and departures of passengers and also ferry crossing through these ghats is multiplying their woes. Passengers are not able take rest there due to lack of required facilities. The government has taken various initiatives to solve these problems and ensure better services to the passengers.

Sources said that in the seventh five-year plan, the government has stressed on enhancing various facilities in the river ports. New terminals are being constructed for the passengers in Paturia, Daulatdia and Goalanda ghats for easy ferry crossing. Trade at regional and sub-regional region is also being enriched and expanded. As a result, sufferings of commuters in Paturia, Daulatdia and Goalanda ferry ghats will be reduced for easy communication between the capital Dhaka and the southern districts of the country.

The Ministry of Planning sources said that a project titled 'Modernization of river ports with additional facilities in Paturia and Daulatdia’ has been undertaken by the Ministry of Shipping to ensure better services. The Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) has been given the responsibility of implementing the project at Shibalay of Manikganj, Paturia of Goalanda upazila of Rajbari, Daulatdia and Goalanda at a cost of Tk 351 crore 70 lakh, and the project was approved at a meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) on February 18.

The ECNEC sources said the project would be implemented by June 30, 2022. Total project cost of around Tk 1351 crore 70 lakh are being provided from the government's own fund, finance ministry sources said. The project is included as an unapproved new project in the current financial year's (2019-2020) annual development program.

A total of 65 acres of land will be acquired at different spots in the area for implementation of the project. On these lands, multi-terminal buildings and other structures will be constructed with modern facilities, which will have an area of 12002 square meters. For this, 45 lakh cubic meters will be dredged in the mentioned land, they said.

New ferry ghats will be constructed along with the infrastructures to coordinate the management during the project period, which will have a volume of 33 thousand 792 square meters. The size of the parking yard will be 1 lakh 59 thousand 110 square meters. Besides, drainage system, boundary wall and fencing work, construction of steel jetty, river management work at Paturia and Daulatdia area, construction of 22 platforms at Paturia and Daulatdia areas and construction of RCC road will be completed.

Planning Minister MA Mannan said, "It will create improved terminals and parking facilities for the passengers at Paturia, Daulatdia and Goalanda ghats through the implementation of the project. Apart from this, passenger services will be enhanced through the development of international road connectivity across the entire south-western region with Dhaka”.

State minister for shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury said, “A long-standing problem is going to be solved. Implementation of the project will ensure better services to the passengers in these three ghats. Many times the passengers and drivers have to wait for long for the ferries to cross the river. But there is no terminal with advanced modern facilities. Travelers and drivers will be able to take rest at these modern terminals if the project is implemented. We hope harassment of passengers will reduce too.”