People are making hassle-free journey to their native homes as the holy Eid-ul-Azha will be celebrated in the country tomorrow.
In the capital, people were seen rushing to train stations and bus and launch terminals as the four-day Eid vacation began on Tuesday.
So, Eid holidaymakers are in a rush soon after offices were closed on Monday. Many employees went home on the day after taking extra leave. The rush of homeward people will continue till today.
While visiting two major bus terminals in Sayedabad and Gabtoli, Kamalapur Railway Station and Sadarghat Launch Terminal, this correspondent has found that passengers from different directions of the capital were pouring into the stations to board vehicles.
The road heading towards Sadarghat Launch Terminal from Gulistan was clogged with traffic on the day as a large number of people were leaving for homes.
Many homeward passengers were sufferings due to a shortage of transport. Even taking risks of life, passengers are crowding buses, trains and launches beyond their carrying capacities as there is no other alternative to travelling to their destinations.
The pressure of home-bound people has increased on Dhaka-Aricha and Nabinagar-Chandra highways. Although the passenger pressure has increased, there has been no traffic jam on the two important highways.
Azizul Haque, officer-in-charge of Savar Highway Police Station, said that the road condition is normal so far. Traffic pressure may increase. But, we are on the road and hope passengers can return home without sufferings.
Due to an accident on Bangabandhu Bridge, an eight-km tailback has been created on the eastside of the bridge, stretching all the way to Hatia in Tangail’s Kalihati Upazila on Tuesday morning.
Sources said normally around 16,000-17,000 vehicles cross Bangabandhu Bridge every day. But the number has now jumped to around 28,000-30,000.
Ferry and launch services on Paturia route in Manikganj was running smoothly on Tuesday as holidaymakers were rushing to their destinations without any hassle.
Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC) Aricha office said that during this Eid journey, passengers and vehicles are being crossed by 18 ferries on Manikganj’s Paturia and Rajbari Daulatdia waterways and five on Manikganj’s Aricha and Pabna’s Kazirhat waterways.
However, there is strong current in the Padma River. For this, ferry services on Paturia-Daulatdia route is taking about 20 minutes more time.
Due to the same reason, Aricha-Kazirhat route also takes more time. The pontoons of all the ghats of Paturia and Aricha have been raised from low to medium levels as the water in the river rises.
Apart from this, ferries carrying cattle-laden trucks and pickup vans are crossing the river on a priority basis. Animal carts from the western and south-western districts of the country were ferrying across Daulatdia-Paturia waterway.
Shah Mohammad Khaled Newaz, deputy general manager (Commercial) of BIWTC’s Aricha office, said, “Since the Padma bridge was opened, the pressure of vehicles crossing the Paturia-Daulatdia waterway has reduced by almost half. Passengers will not have to suffer any hardship as there are enough ferries for this Eid journey.”
With the start of the Eid holidays, there is an increased pressure at Kamalapur railway station. City-dwellers were crowding there since Tuesday morning. The train is leaving late despite complaints of suffering.
Railway authorities have made all kinds of preparations to make Eid train trips safe. A total of 52 pairs of trains are running on the occasion of the Eid.
Passengers said the train journey is not as painful as before. On the other hand, due to online ticketing, the station counters are completely empty. However, passengers are crowding for standing tickets.
Besides, railway authorities are checking tickets and NID cards while going to the railway station. A three-tier system has been taken to ensure that no one can travel without a ticket.
After the launch of Padma Bridge, road connectivity with the southern region became easier, although the number of boat passengers decreased during normal times, but Sadarghat launch terminal has come back to life in addition to road and rail ahead of Eid.
The number of daily plying launches has also increased to ferry passengers from the southern region, sources concerned said.
They say that the passenger pressure has increased at Sadarghat due to government office holidays.
While visiting the Sadarghat launch terminal area, full presence of passengers throughout the terminal area was seen on Tuesday. Southern launches have left the wharf with loads of passengers.
Even though Gulistan-Sadarghat road is suffering due to traffic jams, people are going to village homes with a lot of relief to share Eid joy as there is no suffering like before.
On the occasion of the Eid, the pressure of people increased in Sadarghat last Saturday and Sunday, but this pressure increased several times on Monday.