People rush to hometowns for Eid celebrations21 April 2023
Staff Reporter :
People from all walks of life on Thursday thronged to the bus terminals, railway stations, launch terminal, and domestic airport in a bid to heading their villages and hometowns ahead of the Eid celebrations, leaving the capital almost empty.
The main thoroughfares -Dhaka-Tangail, Dhaka-Sylhet, Dhaka-Chattogram and Dhaka-Barishal - were packed with different modes of vehicles including buses, private cars and motorbikes.
With the government declaring a long holiday for the occasion, many are taking advantage of the break to reunite with their families and loved ones. The exodus from the capital started days ago, with people from all over the city making their way to the various transportation hubs in the city.
At the bus terminals like Gabtoli, Sayedabad and Mahakhali, long queues were formed as people scramble to book their seats on the numerous buses that operate on the various routes across the country.
The pressure of holidaymakers heading home for Eid caused significant traffic congestion at important points along the Dhaka-Aricha Highway in Savar, Baipail Abdullahpur Highway in Ashulia, and at Nabinagar and Chandra areas.
The situation was worsened by a mild heatwave affecting the country, making travel even more difficult for passengers.
The Inspector General of Police, Chowdhury Abdullah Al Mamun, visited the Baipail area of Ashulia and inspected the overall situation on the highway. He noted that the situation was under control, and police personnel on duty were actively working to reduce traffic congestion.
Despite the surge in traffic volume due to the Eid holiday travel, there is no traffic congestion reported on the Dhaka-Chattogram highway.
According to Muhammad Rahmat Ullah, the Highway Police in
the Cumilla region, there were no traffic jams despite the rise in traffic volume.
Apart from buses, a huge number of motorcycles were seen plying towards the Padma Bridge on Thursday to cross the river to reach different destinations in the Southern parts of the country.
As morning approached, thousands of riders moved towards the bridge in an orderly manner, with families seen riding together in a joyous spirit. Expressing excitement and anticipation, the riders paid the toll and entered the bridge to continue their Eid journey.
The authorities earlier issued strict guidelines for motorcycle riders, allowing them to use the bridge from Thursday onwards. The bridge authority has urged all motorcyclists to follow the guidelines and maintain safety protocols while on the road.
On the other hand, at the Kamalapur railway station, a massive rush had been witnessed, with people jostling for space to buy tickets and board the trains. The platforms were crowded with people carrying their luggage and juggling to find space to get on the train.
However, the Sonar Bangla Express, which was headed to Chattogram, departed from Kamalapur station more than three hours behind its scheduled time. The train was supposed to leave at 7am, but it eventually left at 10:15am. According to Masud Sarwar, the station manager, the delay was caused by technical problems.
He also said that about 50,000 people are anticipated to depart from Kamalapur station by train on the fourth day of the Eid journey.
At the Sadarghat launch terminal, the scene is no different, with crowds of people pushing and shoving to secure a spot on the launches that ply the Buriganga River connecting different river routes of the southern part of the country.
The Hazrat Shahjalal domestic airport, too, was abuzz with activity, as passengers hurry to catch their flights home. Airlines have increased their flights and capacity to meet the rush.
However, the mass exodus has also brought its share of challenges. The traffic and highway authorities were seen working hard to ensure the safety and security of the passengers and to ensure that they can reach their destinations smoothly.
The police have deployed additional personnel to manage the crowds and maintain law and order at the various transportation hubs.
Meanwhile, the city streets and highways are empty, with traffic being significantly reduced as people leave the capital. The usually crowded areas of Dhaka city are now almost deserted, with only a few people and vehicles visible on the roads.