Photo: Bayazid Akter/UNB
Dhaka, June 13 (UNB) – The frenzied rush of home-goers reached its peak in the city on Thursday, the last working day before Eid-ul-Fitr as thousands of people headed for their village homes to celebrate the religious festival with their near and dear ones.
Though there was tremendous traffic pressure on roads and highways, there was no report of any tailback as of 7pm unlike previous years.
Huge crowds were seen at all transport terminals and the railway station since morning, while the transport operators were struggling to cope with the rush of the eid passengers.
Many passengers were seen taking risky rides on the rooftops of buses, trains and launches. Transport operators said the mad rush of homebound passengers will continue till Friday night.
Around 18-20 lakh people were expected to leave the capital till midnight since early morning, said Deputy Commissioner (Media) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Masudur Rahman.
He said around 25 lakh people, mostly the family members of those working in both government and private offices, have already left the capital since Monday.
He said around 7-8 million city dwellers are expected to leave Dhaka for their respective village homes to celebrate the festival this time.
Eid-ul-Fitr, the largest religious festival of Muslims, will be celebrated in the country either on June 16 or June 17 depending on sighting of the Shawwal moon.
Ashis Kumar Dey, general secretary of the National Committee to Protect Shipping, Roads and Railways, said around 4 lakh people were expected to leave the capital by trains, around 5 lakh by launches, while other 9-11 lakh by buses and other vehicles till Thursday mid night.
Gabtoli and Saidabad terminals were crowded with the home-goers waiting for hours to catch their transports to reach their destinations.
Most passengers said buses are leaving the capital maintaining schedule till 7pm while the operators said as there was no tailback on the highways.
Since there is a heavy rush of home-goers, many local buses are also carrying passengers to different districts.
Sources at Kamalapur Railway Station said some 39 trains left its platform for various destinations till 4pm today. Of them, ‘Nilsagar’ and Silk City got delayed to some extent while the rest left Dhaka almost timely, said assistant manager at Kamalapur Railway Station Nripendra Nath Saha.
The platform of the station turned into a human see since morning as people opted for train journeys fearing sufferings on highways in buses.
A large number of home-bound passengers were seen waiting at the platform of Kamalapur Railway Station for catching their respective trains.
Though no one is allowed to board trains without ticket or ride on its rooftop from Kamalapur, the situation gets worse after the trains reach the Airport Station.
Some passengers at the Airport Station alleged that they could not get into the trains despite having tickets due to immense pressure of passengers, mainly for those who have no ticket.
There was surge of home-goers passengers of southern region at Sadarghat Launch Terminal since morning. Launch passengers had to negotiate heavy traffic between Gulistan and Sadarghat Launch Terminal.
The passengers sat in cabins, on rooftops and stairs, and wherever they found a bit of space.
Most vessels were seen carrying passengers beyond their capacities flouting rules.
According to Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA), 214 launches are scheduled to leave the terminal for different destinations from 6am to 10pm on Thursday.
Many passengers alleged the launch operators were demanding excessive fare, an allegation denied by the operators.
Law enforcers, including Rab, river police and Coast Guard, were deployed at the launch terminal to avert any untoward incident.