Bangladesh Railway on Friday started selling advance train tickets for people intending to celebrate Eid-ul-Azha with near and dear ones at their respective village homes.
Crowds gathered at Kamalapur Railway Station in the capital well before the ticket counters opened at 8:00am.
“I came to buy tickets for Panchagarh Express. I’ve been waiting since midnight and have now bought four tickets. I’m going home with my uncle and his family for the Eid holidays,” Shakil, who resides in Dhaka’s Wari, said.
Tickets were sold from five counters at the station till 4:00pm. The sale of e-tickets was also underway since 8:00am. Travellers intending to leave Dhaka bought tickets for July 5 on the first day.
University student Yasmin Sultana had been waiting in a queue for tickets to Khulna since dawn. “I’m looking to buy tickets for myself and a friend. There was a long queue when I got here early in the morning. I haven’t managed to get to the counter yet as there’re still a few people ahead of me,” she said.
Apart from Kamalapur Railway Station and Kamalapur suburban platform, passengers also collected tickets from Airport Railway Station, Tejgaon Railway Station, Cantonment Railway Station, Fulbaria (Old Railway Station) and six places in Joydevpur.
The rush for tickets caused ticket seekers to worry about their chances of getting one on the opening day of sale. Dhanmondi resident Ayat Islam was one of them in Kamalapur Railway Station.
Railway police were very active at Kamalapur in their efforts to maintain order. Compared to other years, however, the crowds were relatively thin.
“Considering the queues at the counters, some fear that they’ll return empty-handed today. So, we’re trying hard to clamp down on black market sales. There’s no scope for selling tickets on the black market,” said Masud Sarwar, the station manager.
The sale of tickets also began at 8:00am through the Rail Sheba mobile app and e-ticketing platform on the internet.
Ticket seekers have made 5 lakh hits in the first minute on the e-ticketing website for the July 5 train tickets. Besides, in the first three hours, about 44,000 tickets were sold across the country, said Farhat Ahmed, public relations officer of Shohoz-Synesis-Vinsen JV, an affiliate of Bangladesh Railway ticket sales, at 11:30am.
The advance tickets for July 6, 7, 8 and 9 will be available today, tomorrow, July 4 and 5 respectively.
The sale of return tickets will begin on July 7. The return tickets for July 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15 will be available on July 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 respectively.