Dhaka, Aug 9 (UNB) – With only two days left for Eid-ul-Azha, thousands of holidaymakers moved out of the capital for their ancestral homes on Friday to celebrate the festival facing long tailbacks on highways and unusual delay in departure of many trains.
Kamalapur Railway Station, major bus terminals and Sadarghat Ferry Terminal were seen overcrowded since morning with homebound people waiting for hours together to catch transports to reach their destinations.
The home-goers of the northern and south-western districts had to go through serious ordeals for long traffic jams on Dhaka-Mymensingh, Dhaka-Tangail and Dhaka-Rajshahi highways.
The holidaymakers of northwestern districts who opted to travel by trains also suffered a lot for their long wait at Kamalapur Railway Station as on the last two days since most trains on the routes were running behind their schedules.
The derailment of Khulna-bound Sundarban Express near the east corner of the Bangabandhu Bridge added to their woes.
However, the travellers experienced smooth journey on Dhaka-Chattogram and Dhaka Sylhet highways as there is no report of long tailbacks despite the huge flow of vehicles.
Transport operators said the rush of homebound people will reach the peak on Saturday noon as it is the last working day for private employees.
Eid-ul-Azha, the second largest religious festivals of Muslims, will be celebrated in the country on Monday next.
Most buses from Sayedabad were leaving the terminal almost in time, but passengers were forced to wait in counters at Gabtoli and Mohakhali terminals for hours together as the designated buses failed to return to Dhaka as those were stuck at Shimulia-Kathalbari and Paturia-Daulatdi ferry terminals and in tailbacks on the highways.
UNB Tangail correspondent reports: A 100-km tailback was created on Dhaka-Tangail highway on Friday, inflicting sufferings on thousands of homebound holidaymakers.
Police super of the district Sanjib Kumar Biswas said the huge traffic congestion on the highway from Ashulia to Bangabandhu Bridge was created due to the pressure of Dhaka-bound cattle-laden trucks and vehicles of Eid holidaymakers.
Sanjib said law enforcers and volunteers had been working on the highway to ease the gridlock.
UNB Gazipur correspondent says: Vehicles were seen moving slowly on Dhaka-Mymensingh Highway since Friday morning as a large number of vehicles left the capital for various destinations ahead of the eid.
Police said vehicles carrying the homebound people are moving slowly at Chandana intersection, Board Bazar, Gazipur intersection and Tongi due to heavy pressure of vehicles.
Besides, drivers are driving vehicles carefully due to the potholes caused by the ongoing construction works by Bangladesh Road Transport Authority.
Highway police, metropolitan police, community police and volunteers from city corporations are working to maintain discipline on highways.
According to UNB Manikganj correspondent, hundreds of buses that left the capital for their destinations were stuck in a long tailback at Paturia ferry terminal, causing immense suffering to the passengers.
“A gridlock stretching over 28 kilometres has thrown everything into disarray,” said Zillur Rahman, assistant manager of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority’s Aricha office.
Police said they believe there are more than 5,000 private cars stuck in the tailback from Paturia ferry terminal to Manikganj town.
Locals said they never saw such a huge tailback in the past.
Mohiuddin Russel, director, BIWTA Aricha office, said a large number of passenger buses and cattle-laden trucks put an extra pressure on the highway last night.
Contacted, Shafiqul Islam, superintendent of highway police (Gazipur), said there was a huge outflow of vehicles on Dhaka-Tangail and Dhaka Mymensingh highways since morning causing severe tailbacks.
He, however, said the situation started improving in the afternoon.
A total of 55 trains are scheduled to leave Kamalapur Railway Station, including three special ones, on Friday. The passengers of the northern and north-western suffered a lot as almost all trains on the routes could not maintain their schedules.
Many trains on the same route were delayed on Wednesday and Thursday as well, inflicting sufferings on the holidaymakers.
Meanwhile, Railways Minister Nurul Islam Sujan visited the Kamalapur Railway Station in the morning.
As passengers aired anger informing the ministers about the train schedule collapse, Sujan told the problem cannot be solved without installing the double lines.
Sadarghat Launch terminal was also found overcrowded since morning. Most launches were seen carrying passengers beyond their capacities.