FE Today Logo

Home-goers’ rush rises significantly ahead of Eid

Hassles continue at terminals, on routes

FE Report | June 14, 2018 12:00:00

A Maruti 800 packed with people spotted at Amin Bazar in the city heading home on Wednesday ahead of Eid-ul Fitr — Photo received from Shamiul Huq Asif

The homebound people's rush from the capital towards their village homes across the country increased significantly on Wednesday ahead of the Eid-ud-Fitr.

Apart from schedule breakdown, the holidaymakers had to face hassles on the day due to heavy crowd at bus and launch terminals as well as rail stations like Kamalapur and Airport.

The home-goers' rush increased on the day, as it was just three days ahead of the Eid, to be held on June 16 or 17, subject to sighting of moon.

The day was a holiday for Shab-e-Qadr, and today (Thursday) is the last office day before the Eid holiday.

Movement of increased number of vehicles also contributed to the traffic congestion on the national highways like Dhaka-Mymensingh and Dhaka-Chittagong etc., badly affecting the regular schedule of bus services.

Most of the launches left the city with extra passengers, while higher prices were charged for their tickets compared to the prices of normal days, passengers alleged.

Private bus operators said the Dhaka-Sirajganj highway witnessed no major traffic jam on Wednesday (morning to evening). But the Dhaka-Chittagong and the Dhaka-Sylhet routes witnessed tailbacks in some places.

Md Rezaul Hasan, working at an international Non-governmental organisation (NGO), told the FE that he was waiting for his scheduled bus for two hours, but there was no sign of the vehicle.

"My bus for Sylhet was scheduled at 11.30 am, but I'm still waiting," told Mr. Hasan at 1.30 pm in front of Unique Paribahan office at Sayedabad terminal in the city.

Buses for destinations like Chattagram, Sylhet, Cumilla, Narsingdi and Munshiganj were 1.30 to 3.0 hours late than their respective schedules due to the traffic congestion throughout the day.

Md Sohorab Ali, an official at Hanif Paribahan at Sayedabad, said their schedules have collapsed.

The buses, which left Chittagong and Sylhet for Dhaka, were three to four hours late in entering the capital and resuming their journey from the city.

The home-goers of northern districts, however, enjoyed a comparatively comfortable journey on the day (until evening) amid no major tailback on their way home.

Ashraful Islam Murad, a private bank official, told the FE over cell-phone that it took him just 6.0 hours to reach Bogura, when it took 12-14 hours in the corresponding period of last year.

Md Shafiq Ahmed, manager of Nabil Paribahan, said the condition was very good until noon.

But the scenario might start changing after evening with an increasing numbers of vehicles plying the highways.

He said a significant number of their buses failed to enter the city from distant districts on time, which may result in a schedule collapse at night.

DIG of Highway Police Md Humayun Kabir told the FE over phone that no tailback was seen until Wednesday evening.

But, the vehicles were moving slowly at Elenga point, he said.

He said they have made special arrangements to keep the country's three key highways -- Dhaka-Chattagram, Dhaka-Mymensingh and Dhaka-Tangail -- gridlock-free round the clock during the Eid festival.

The law-enforcers are focusing on intersections like Chandra, Kanchpur, Mawna, Aminbazar, Savar, Goalanda and Bhulta to avert traffic congestion.

"We've also suspended the leave of our officials for ensuring strong monitoring on the highways."

He said measures have also been taken at ferry-ghats and toll plazas on the country's key bridges for smooth movement of passenger buses.

Meanwhile, the officials at the Kamalapur Railway Station (KRS) said trains on different routes were one to two hours late on the day.

"My train Silk City Express was scheduled to depart the station at 2.20 pm. But I don't know when it will leave," said Md Belayet Hossain, a private service holder, at 3.30 pm at the KRS.

Like the previous times, many passengers were seen travelling on the rooftop of the trains on the day defying high risk of accidents.

Railway Minister Mujibul Haque, while visiting the KRS told the reporters that they have taken all preparations, so that the passengers do not face any problem while going to their village homes.

Meanwhile, the number of waterway passengers increased manifold at Sadarghat Launch Terminal on the day compared to that of the previous days.

It happened, as the special services of both the government and the private operators begin on the occasion of the Eid festival.

Private launch operators said nearly 105 launches left the city towards 50 destinations until Wednesday evening, and 50 more vessels will leave by midnight.

Most of the launches were overloaded with home-goers.

However, hundreds of people were in search of tickets to go to their village homes.

Asaduzzaman Soweb, a buying house official, told the FE at Gabtoli Mazar Road in the morning that he was searching for five tickets of Panchagarh to travel on June 14.

"I managed to get three tickets and need another two for my family," he added.



Share if you like