• Saturday, Oct 24, 2020
  • Last Update : 08:26 pm

Rain, delay, jam disrupt holidaymakers' journey

  • Published at 01:13 am August 9th, 2019
Shimula-Kathalbari route-Dhaka Tribune
People board a launch to cross the Padma River to avoid a partially operative Shimula-Kathalbari route in Munshiganj on Thursday, August 8, 2019 Dhaka Tribune

Usually, nearly half the population of Dhaka leaves the city before every Eid, and around 55% of those homebound people travel via road

The Eid rush began to gain momentum as people are leaving Dhaka to spend the Eid-ul-Azha holidays with their near and dear ones around the country.

Usually, nearly half the population of Dhaka leaves the city before every Eid, and around 55% of those homebound people travel via road.

Highway traffic is usually busy during the Eid rush, but this time it has gotten worse due to the flood, and rain.

On the last working day Thursday, home goers thronged different bus terminals, Kamlapur Railway Station, and the city's lone launch terminal at Sadarghat just after the lunch break.

Those opting for a train journey suffered immensely, as many trains ran hours behind schedule on Thursday.

Tailback and slow speed of vehicles on some major highways caused huge suffering for home goers. Poor navigability, and strong current in the Padma river continued to disrupt ferry services at two ferry terminals connecting Dhaka with south-western districts.

Sadarghat Launch Terminal witnessed a huge rush of passengers from on Thursday afternoon after the closure of many government offices. The rush of passengers would reach its peak from today morning, officials, and launch owners said.

Suffering at Kamalapur

Apart from the distress caused by rain, commuters were seen waiting at Kamalapur station for the arrival of their scheduled trains in the morning. 

Railway authorities have announced that trains, especially the ones that are northern region-bound, will be delayed. Almost no trains left the station on time on Thursday. 

Kamlapur station Manager Mohammad Aminul Haq said: "On the second day of the Eid journey, a total of 55 trains, including three special ones, were scheduled to leave the station for different destinations. 

“We are doing our best to maintain the schedule. Only trains that arrived late are departing late, the rest of the trains have maintained the schedule."

Rajshahi-bound Dhumketu Express, which was supposed to depart the station around 6:20am, left at 8am Thursday, while Chilahati-bound Nilsagar Express, scheduled to leave at 8am, left the station at 10:25am.

Meanwhile, Rangpur Express left the station at 11am instead of the scheduled time of 9am. The Dinajpur-Panchagarh-bound Ekota Express left the station at 11:15am instead of its 10am schedule.  

Towhidul Islam, a passenger of the Nilsagar Express, said: "I struggled a lot to get a ticket on July 30. However, I heard that the train is delayed by 2.5 hours after arriving at Kamalapur in the morning. 

"It is very distressing for commoners like us, as we are traveling long distances with families. The authorities do not take any precautionary measures to prevent such delay, and we have to pay the price for that," he added.

Bus and ferry services

Thousands of passengers bound for 21 southern districts suffered delays on Dhaka-Aricha Highway as buses took four to five hours to reach Paturia ghat from the capital's Gabtoli. Buses moved very slowly on the road due to an increased number of vehicles.

Ferry service on Shimulia-Kathalabari route was partially operative on Thursday. After reaching Shimula ghat from Dhaka, most of the bus passengers took launch, and speed boats to cross the Padma.

Nasir Hossain, assistant general manager of the BIWTC, said they ran 15 ferries in the route. Each ferry had to wait to make way for another, resulting in 20 to 25 minute delays.

A 20-kilometre-long tailback was created on Dhaka-Tangail highway, leaving thousands of homebound people stranded on the road.

The tailback stretching from Bangabandhu Bridge east end to Kataria in Tangail Sadar upazila persisted till the last report at 5:45pm.

However, no traffic jam was prevalent on Dhaka-Chittagong Highway till the filling of this report at 8:30pm on Thursday.

Our correspondents Tanjil Hasan, Munjshiganj, Abdullah Al Numan, Tangail, Nadim Hossain, Savar, and Masud Alam, Comilla contributed to this report

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