• Friday, Dec 13, 2019
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Advance Eid tickets from July 29, floods may hamper passengers

  • Published at 12:16 pm July 23rd, 2019
railway-minister
Railway Minister Nurul Islam Sujan briefing the reporters about the sale of advance train tickets for Eid-ul-Azha holidays on July 23, 2019 Dhaka Tribune

Eid-ul-Azha, the 2nd largest religious festival of Muslims, will be celebrated on August 12

Bangladesh Railway is set to start selling advance train tickets for the Eid-ul-Azha holidays from July 29.

Aiming to provide hassle-free Eid journeys for holidaymakers, 50% of the tickets will be sold in advance online, similarly to Eid-ul-Fitr.

Sale of tickets for intercity trains will continue till August 2, Railways Minister Nurul Islam Sujan told reporters at the Rail Bhaban in Dhaka on Tuesday.

The minister hoped that passengers would not face difficulties availing the tickets through mobile apps, as in the previous Eid.

Around 26,500 tickets are expected to be sold each day.

The minister also said the advance tickets will be sold at five different railway stations in Dhaka: Kamalapur, Airport, Tejgaon, Banani, and Fulbaria (Old Railway Bhaban).

The tickets for  west bound trains will be sold from Kamalapur Railway Station, according to the minister.

Meanwhile, holidaymakers can collect advance tickets for Chittagong and Noakhali from Airport Railway Station.

Mymensingh and Jamalpur-bound holidaymakers can collect tickets from Tejgaon Railway Station, while tickets for the Netrakona-bound Mohonganj and Haor Express will be sold from Banani Railway Station. Holidaymakers travelling to Sylhet and Kishoreganj have to collect their tickets from Old Rail Bhaban in the Fulbaria area.

Advance tickets for intercity trains travelling on August 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11 will be sold on July 29, 30, 31, August 1, and 2 respectively, the minister said.

Eid-ul-Azha, the 2nd largest religious festival for Muslims, is set to be celebrated on August 12, subject to the appearance of the moon.

The sale of tickets at counters will begin at 8am, while online sales will be open from 6am. Each passenger can buy a maximum of four tickets.

To ease the suffering of passengers, eight pairs of special trains will run on different routes on the occasion of Eid.

Railways Secretary Mofazzal Hossain and Shamsuzzaman, new director general (DG) of Bangladesh Railway (BR), were also present at the briefing. 

Passengers to suffer more this year 

Eid holiday makers may suffer more than usual during their holiday journey this year, due to recent floods.

The railway has already suspended operations in Jamalpur and Gaibandha-Kurigram, as flood water has destroyed rail tracks, Railway DG Shamsuzzaman said.  

He added that around six-seven kilometers of rail track from Benarpara to Gaibandha was submerged in flood water, causing critical damage. Around 25km of the rail line in Jamalpur was also damaged.

The DG hoped that the flood situation would improve, so that train services on these routes could be resumed.

Railways Minister Nurul Islam Sujan said alternate routes would be used if the suspended train services could not be resumed.

In response to a question, the minister said it is extremely difficult to maintain train schedules due to the high number of passengers.

“A huge number of passengers use train services during Eid. Trains have to carry three or four times the usual number, and it is logical that the schedule would breakdown under such pressure,” he said.

Technical Committee to check mobile app activities 

Despite Bangladesh Railway’s assurance to provide a hassle-free ticket system through mobile apps, passengers could not buy tickets through the apps during the Eid-ul-Fitr vacation.

As the app failed to give proper service, ticket seekers gathered at the stations in huge numbers.

Minister Nurul Islam Sujan hoped that passengers would not suffer this time, and their experience with the online ticket buying system would be much smoother.

“After last Eid’s problems, we discussed the issues with CNS and they assured us that their servers would not fail,” he said.

Railways Secretary Mofazzal Hossain said a technical team compromised of Bangladesh Railway, A2i and CNS was formed to check the CNS server’s load measurement.

 “During the last Eid, the CNS’s server could take only 15,000 hits in a minute. This time, they have increased the limit to 100,000 hits per minute,” he added.