After bridge opens, Bogibeel ferry ghat loses its bustle
Forty-year-old Shankar Sahani is at a loss after the shutdown of the Bogibeel ferry ghat.
The ghat, which has been functioning since 2004, was shut down after the rail-cum-road bridge was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday. It is nearly 26km from here.
Shankar and his elder brother Sivji worked as boatmen on the ferry service operated by Mukhi Chetri. “My elder brother and I are completely dependent on the ferry service from Bogibeel ghat since it started functioning. We don’t know what we will do next. We have to search for another job,” Shankar said.
He said both of them had come to Dibrugarh from Dhola in Tinsukia district in search of a job and started working on the ferry owned by Chetri.
“Nearly 3,000 people travel by ferry from Bogibeel ghat to Kareng ghat. The ghat, which once bustled with activity, now wears a deserted look,” said boatman Subon Namasudra.
Nearly 180 people associated with the ferry service on both ghats have been affected. Owners of at least 50 to 60 shops, kiosks, eateries and makeshift restaurants at the two ghats were also hit.
On the other hand, Bogibeel bridge has become a tourist attraction as people from different districts are getting on the bridge to take selfies.
Motindra Biswa Sarma, an inland water transport department employee, said, “Two government ferries used to ply from Bogibeel ghat to Kareng ghat but they are now lying abandoned. We have written to the director of inland water transport in Guwahati to take a decision on the abandoned ferries,” he said.
Sarma said 28 private ferries used to ply between the ghats but some owners sold their boats. It took around one-and-a-half to two hours to cross the river. Now it takes 15 minutes to cross from the north bank to the south of the Brahmaputra by road.