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‘Six million people’ leave Dhaka to celebrate Eid with loved ones

30Law-enforcing agencies estimate around six million people have left Dhaka this year to share Eid joy with their loved ones, enduring gruelling journeys to their homes in towns and villages.

Though there were tailbacks, exhausting wait at stations and terminals, complaints of suffering were much less this time.

In the morning, amidst drizzle, gridlocks on Dhaka-Tangail Highway and Paturia ferry terminal prolonged the wait for returning home. But by afternoon, the situation eased.

The train schedules this year also did not cause much trouble to the home-bound passengers.

Due to sudden rush, many could not board launches on Thursday night, but on the eve of Eid they comfortably set off to their destinations from Sadarghat.

Rush at terminals
Schedules of north-bound buses went haywire due to tailback on Dhaka-Tangail Highway on Friday morning.

Passengers had to wait at the terminals even for six hours to catch a bus to districts like Rajshahi, Chapainawabganj, Rangpur and Dinajpur.

Many waited with their family members from morning to afternoon at the capital’s Shyamoli, Kalyanpur and Gabtoli bus stands.

Those manning the counters of bus operators said the delay was caused as the buses, caught in the traffic snarls, could not return in time from northern districts.

“My bus was to leave at 8:30am. I purchased the ticket 10 days ago for this journey.

“But I have been waiting for about six hours, but there is no sight of the bus,”  ‘Shahidul’, who was waiting to catch a Hanif Paribahan bus to go to Chapainawabganj, told bdnews24.com.

An executive of Desh Travels, ‘Pinku’, said their bus got stuck in traffic jam. He said they refunded the tickets of those who wanted it.

However, holidaymakers could happily leave for their destinations after traffic congestion eased in the afternoon.

South-bound buses were running on schedule without any disruption since afternoon.

Manager of Hanif Paribahan, ‘Sohel’, told bdnews24.com their around 38 South-bound buses had left for their destinations.

“After queuing up since around 9am, I got the ticket of a Russel Paribahan bus which will depart at 1pm. However, I had to pay extra for the ticket,” a Magura-bound passenger, ‘Akram’ told bdnews24.com at Gabtoli terminal.

Not much rush was seen in front of the counters of south-bound bus operators in the evening.

Employee of Druti Paribahan ‘Monir’ told bdnews24.com though they had planned to send at least 10 buses to southern destinations like Jessore, Magura, and Satkhira, they got enough passengers for only five buses.

Due to heavy traffic, around 600 vehicles were seen waiting to cross the river at Manikganj’s Paturia and Munshiganj’s Shimulia terminals in the morning.  However, the situation there changed since afternoon.

Trains run normal

Unlike last years, a day before Eid, passengers made no complaint of schedule disruption at Kamalapur Railway Station.

“Sixty-six trains will leave Dhaka all through Friday. But rush of passengers is comparatively less today as many had already left Dhaka,” Station Manager Sitangshu Chakrabarty told bdnews24.com.

Many were, however, seen undertaking the perilous journey on the roofs of trains.

“We are unable to take stern steps to bring them down from the roofs,” Chakrabarty said.

He said though the schedule halts in certain stations were just for two minutes, trains were forced to stop 10 to 12 minutes in some of those stations due to the rush of passengers.

Such stoppages somewhat delayed some train schedules, but they were not intolerable, he added.

Special trains will run from Bhairab and Mymensingh on Saturday for those who would take part in Eid congregation at Sholakia.

For the return of those who had left Dhaka, three pairs of special trains from Parbatipur, Khulna and Dewanganj will operate for seven days after Eid.