Monday, June 17, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

Huge traffic rush during break in blockades

Update : 20 Dec 2013, 08:50 PM

The bus terminals and train stations in Dhaka and Chittagong experienced an overflow of passengers yesterday, with commuters desperate to make their trips before a fresh spell of blockade by the opposition alliance began today.

The passengers, however, had to face immense woes as there were only limited transportation facilities available because of the ongoing political tension.

In the capital’s bus terminals, many people had to wait several hours to get tickets, as most seats in the popular bus services were already sold in advance.

“We are waiting here from 7am and do not know whether we could start our journey or not, as we are yet to manage the bus tickets,” said Abdus Sadeq at 11am, who was waiting with his family members at the Gabtoli bus terminal to catch a Lalmonirhat-bound bus.

Similar sufferings were experienced by the passengers of Dhaka-Mymensingh –Netrakona-Sherpur-Jamalpur route, because of the shortage of transportations against the demand of passengers.

Meanwhile, hundreds of passengers were stuck for several hours in a 50km-long traffic jam on the Dhaka-Chittagong highway, after a goods-laden truck broke down on the road in the early hours of yesterday.

On the other hand, city dwellers also experienced a heavy rush of traffic with an increased number of vehicles on the streets during the brief break between blockades.

The main routes of the city including Mirpur-New Market, Farmgate-Motijheel, Uttara-Mohakhali-Moghbazar, Sayedabad-Rampura-Uttara stayed packed with traffic throughout the day.

“It took almost four hours to reach New Market from Bashundhara Residential area; which is absurd,” said Rajib, a student who took a bus at 10am yesterday.

In addition to the passengers’ sufferings, the traffic rush also hampered the income of the transport workers.

Rasel, a supervisor of Winner bus service in the city, told the Dhaka Tribune that the usual six to eight trips during a regular day – was halved because of the traffic jam.

Some people also claimed that they had to pay extra fare for rides on CNG-run auto-rickshaws or taxicabs.

Sirajul Islam, an auto-rickshaw driver, said the drivers had no other choice but to charge extra fare as they failed to manage their regular earnings during the blockades.

Meanwhile in the port city, people thronged the Chittagong railway station to travel to their desired destination.

Manjurul Karim, seeking a ticket for Dhaka, said he thought he could reach his destination in time on a train, rather than a bus.

Babul Miah, a banker who travelled to Dhaka a couple of times a week, said he chose to travel on train as he was attacked by blockade supporters several times while making bus journeys to the capital earlier.

Mukta Salma, a job seeker, told the Dhaka Tribune that train’s commuting price was cheaper than other vehicles, while the bus services were asking high fares for the ongoing political unrest.

Mohammad Rokonuzzaman, divisional commercial officer of Bangladesh Railway (East Zone), said the rush in the railway station was more than bus counters, as train had become a dependent vehicle for its better and safer service.

“Railway authorities also increase security measures to evade any accident and untoward happening; that is more than bus service,” he said.

Train service, however, was temporarily disrupted when miscreants uprooted the fishplates of uplink rail track near Akhaura railway station early yesterday, causing the derailment of a patrol coach and an engine.

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