Tuesday, April 16, 2024

People rush out of capital to celebrate Eid

60km tailback in Comilla
Thousands of people on Wednesday huddled at bus, railway and launch terminals in the capital to head home in outlying areas to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr, to fall on either August 19 or August 20.
Passengers crowded Gabtali, Sayedabad and Mohakhali inter-district bus terminals, Kamalapur railway station and Sadarghat launch terminal frantically trying to buy tickets for high prices.
Most transports leaving the terminals were behind schedule by one to seven hours. A huge number of passengers waited at the terminals for transport to arrive till late into night.
A number of people who had bought advance tickets for chair coaches of Eagle Paribahan alleged that the transport agency could not provide them with buses even after they had waited for seven hours and they had to manage tickets for normal coaches from other transport agencies.
Thousands of passengers on Dhaka–Chittagong route, meanwhile, had to face untold sufferings for hours because of a tailback spanning a 60km stretch from Daudkandi to the Comilla cantonment as a covered van headed for Chittagong overturned at Elliotganj of Daudkandi about 5:00am.
The three-day Eid holiday beginning Saturday has come to span a week because of public holidays for National Mourning Day on Wednesday, Shab-e-Qadr on Thursday and the weekend on Friday and Saturday.
Many passengers at three inter-district bus terminals told New Age that the buses headed for far outlying areas such as Khulna, Chittagong, Sylhet, Rajshahi, Rangpur and Barisal had left the terminals one to seven hours late.
They alleged that they had to pay extra money, almost double the normal price, for tickets.
Moinul Islam, headed for Magura, told New Age that he spend Tk 400 on a normal coach ticket from Hanif Paribahan at Gabtali although in any other times, the price ranged between Tk 180 and Tk 200.
Hanif counter master Md Mintu at Gabtali claimed that they were charging the fare that was set buy the government.
‘I bought an advance ticket from Eagle Paribahan to travel to Barisal and the bus was scheduled to leave Gabtali at 10:30am. As the agency failed to provide us with the bus even at 5:00pm, I had to manage a ticket of a normal coach by paying Tk 500, more than double the normal price,’ Swapan Sarker, who works with a drug company, told New Age.
Md Hasan, on the Eagle Paribahan stuff at Gabtali, said that shuttle bus trips were delayed because of congestions at the Paturia–Daulatdia ferry points.
Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority officials at Aricha said that there was no congestion at the landing stations along the Paturia–Daulatdia ferry route as all the 11 ferries, including nine RO/RO ferries and two K-type ferries, were running on time.
Some of the ticket sellers of normal coaches alleged that the number of advance tickets many transport companies had sold had outnumbered the number of seats they had in their buses, for which they failed to arrange buses on time.
Ticket counters of Sohag, Greenline, Eagle and Hanif Paribahan at Kalabagan, Kalyanpur, Shyamoli, Mitijheel, Malibagh and Rajarbagh told New Age that they had no more tickets to sell before Eid.
Quazi Imran, headed for Mymensingh, said over phone that he had reached the Mohakhali bus terminal about 8:30am and bought a ticket of Shamim Enterprise at 12:30am after waiting in the queue for about four hours. The bus left the terminal about 2:00pm.
Abu Forkan Shah Matin, a senior clerk at Bangladesh Road Transport Authority, who was on duty at a complaint centre at Mohakhali, told New Age that they had received complaints about extra fare being charged and misbehaviour with passengers by transport company people.
The trains bound for Chittagong and Rajshahi were late at Kamalapur, adding to the sufferings of the passengers.
The Chittagong-bound Chattala Express, scheduled to leave Kamalpur at 10:50am, and Rajshahi-bound Silk City Express, scheduled to leave at 2:40pm, did not leave until 5:00pm. The Mymensingh-bound Isa Khan Express was late by an hour.
The station master, Shakhawat Hossian Khan, said that the Chattala Express had reached the station four hours behind the schedule because of some problems with the railway.
An announcement said that the Silk City Express reached the station 35 minutes behind the schedule because of traffic congestion in level crossings.
Train communications of Rajshahi with other parts of the country remained suspended from 5:30pm on Wednesday as four carriages of the Dhaka-bound Padma Express had derailed in the Haridagasi station area near the Sardah Police Academy in Rajshahi. The communications could not be restored till 10:30pm.
Passengers at the Sadarghat launch terminal alleged that they had to suffer a lot because of a severe tailback in the capital.
‘Launch authorities are charging extra fare taking the chance of the rush,’ Mosharrof Hossain, headed for Jhalakathi, said at Sadarghat.
A Jhalkathi-bound passenger had to pay Tk 270 in place of the normal price of Tk 180 for the same destination while Patuakhali-bound passengers had to pay Tk 350 in place of the normal fare of Tk 200.
Launches left the terminal overcrowded almost to double their capacity with people on the launch roofs.
The Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority deputy director Joynul Abedin said that they were trying to stop overloading of launches.
More than 70 launches left Sadarghat to 39 destinations on Wednesday till 7:30pm, he said.

-With New Age input

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