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Dhaka Tribune

Eid holidays: Record number of passengers travelled to India through Benapole

  • Sixfold increase in crossing compared to regular days
  • Immigration staff overwhelmed by influx of passengers
Update : 15 Apr 2024, 06:49 PM

A massive surge in passenger traffic was witnessed at Jessore's Benapole land port during the Eid-ul-Fitr and Bengali New Year holidays, with a record number of travellers crossing between Bangladesh and India.

Over 32,000 individuals traversed between the two countries during the five-day period from Eid day to Monday, marking a sixfold increase compared to regular days.

Staff at the Benapole and Petrapole immigration checkposts in India found themselves overwhelmed by the influx of passengers.

Long queues and delays plagued the immigration process, with passengers particularly enduring hardships at Petrapole.

According to sources at Benapole immigration, a total of 32,283 passengers with passports travelled between the two nations during the five-day span from Eid day on April 11 to 2pm on Monday. Of these, 19,000 entered India from Bangladesh, while 13,283 arrived in Bangladesh from India.

With the conclusion of the government holiday, the number of passengers returning from India has surged since Monday.

Kamruzzaman Biswas, officer-in-charge (OC) of Benapole Checkpost Immigration Police, told media that the number of passengers traveling between the two countries exceeded 32,000 from the day of Eid till Monday afternoon. This figure is typically between 5,000-6,000 passengers.

He attributed the surge to people traveling to India for sightseeing and medical treatment during the extended holidays of Eid and New Year.

Rashid Ahmed, a resident of the Bejpara area of Jessore city, shared his experience of celebrating Eid and New Year in India with his family. He entered India through the Benapole port on the eve of Eid.

Rashid said that he travelled to India the day before Eid to seek medical treatment for his wife and son, as well as for leisure. They spent more time in Siliguri and were in Kolkata on the day of Baisakh. However, due to the influx of Bangladeshi visitors, finding accommodation in old Kolkata was challenging, with hoteliers raising their prices. They had to search extensively to find a hotel to accommodate their family.

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