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Dhaka Tribune

Meghna Express carrying extra passengers taking risks

Update : 18 Aug 2013, 04:56 PM

Intercity Meghna express train is carrying extra passengers than its capacity on the Chandpur-Chittagong rail route, putting the lives of thousands of passengers on risk.

There is also an allegation that a group of unscrupulous people are selling tickets in black markets, taking the advantage of inadequate train service.

Railway police, security guard and the authorities concerned allegedly keep mum while selling of tickets at black market is going on under their very nose.

It was found that thousands of passengers are flocking Chandpur railway Bara station to reach Chittagong and other destinations.

Most of the passengers come from the southern districts – Barisal, Bhola and Pirojpur.

The passengers have to go through a fight-like situation to get on the train even after passing a sleepless night after collecting ticket. Risking their lives, some passengers get onto the roof of the train while they cannot manage to get on the train.

A group of black marketers purchases tickets in disguise of passengers and sell the tickets in night at high rate, sources said.

Most of the helpless passengers are buying tickets from black market as they do not have any alternative to reach destinations.

Meghna express has capacity of 960 passengers with its 16 compartments while the Chandpur railway Bara station has allocation of 420 seats. 1,120 tickets were sold against the 420 seats on the last Friday.

Therefore, the passengers are returning to their work places by risking their lives.

Assistant Booking Clerk Md Rafiqul Islam of Chandpur Bara station said: “Although there are 960 seats in the Meghna express train but only 420 seats are allocated for the Chandpur Bara station.

700 tickets have been sold without any seat booking. 1,120 tickets have been sold in total from the Chandpur Bara station on Friday. The government has received Tk169,000 as revenue.”

Passengers said they are buying Shovon class tickets atTk500 instead of Tk150. Moreover, first class tickets are at Tk 700-Tk800 instead of Tk240 and Shovon chair at Tk600 instead of Tk180. In this circumstances, the passengers are compelled to travel by standing in the train and at the roof of the train.

The passengers said three thousand passengers apart from the sold tickets travel to reach Chittagong.

Passengers of eight station of Chandpur-Laksam rail route could not get on the train as the train was packed from Chandpur.

Moreover, yellow tickets (hand written) were found on the black market of the Chandpur station which are usually allocated for court station of the city.

Passengers were seen to travel by Sagorika express train at 3pm on Saturday and by bus spending high fare. Sagorika express is in more acute sorry condition. The roof of the train was also seen packed on Saturday.

Station master of Chandpur Bara station Shafiqur Rahman Bhuyian said in this regard, “The passengers are suffering after the Eid as extra compartments were not allocated.

Again, a group of black marketer purchases tickets in day in disguise of passengers and sell the tickets at high rate in the night.”

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