Bangladesh Railway authorities yesterday said that they would operate 28 special trains for the devotees joining this year’s Biswa Ijtema while the organisers say they have completed all necessary preparation to hold the congregation on the bank of the Turag River from Friday.
“To ensure smooth transportation of the devotees, we have suspended some train services while a few others will be operated regularly without any break. Besides these, every intercity train will give a two-minute break at Tongi,” Railway Minister Md Mujibul Haque told reporters at his office.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) has also decided to run special bus services from January 6 to 19 for ferrying the devotees. The state-owned transport agency will provide at least 228 buses.
For the first time this year, the Ijtema would be held in four phases. Devotees from 32 districts would perform the event in two phases – from January 8-10 and January 15-17. People from the other districts would be able to join the Ijtema next year.
Ban on movement through Gazipur
On the occasion of the Ijtema, movement of all highway vehicles through Gazipur has been suspended from January 6. The vehicles would able to enter Dhaka through Savar, according to a statement issued by Nurul Haque, information officer of the Gazipur district administration.
The suspension order would remain effective also on January 10 and January 17. Moreover, ferry movement was suspended from Kamarpara bridge to Tongi bridge from yesterday until January 17.
Special parking arrangement has been taken during the Ijtema, said SM Alam, the deputy commissioner of Gazipur.
On the other hand, organisers from Tabligh Jamaat said they had completed all necessary preparations on the Ijtema ground to hold the event properly when a good number of Muslims join the event from abroad.
The Ijtema was held once a year for all from 1967 to 2011. But it was divided in two phases in 2011.
The organisers said that they had divided the Ijtema ground in 16 parts. They also made arrangements for drinking water and restrooms.
Prof Abul Kalam Azad, a Tabligh Jamaat leader, said that separate committees were working to provide uninterrupted electricity, water, gas and tents on the field. Four generators and five movable transformers were also kept on standby.
Morshed Alam, station officer of Tongi fire service and civil defence, said that a control room was set up on the Ijtema field where officials and firemen would remain on duty round the clock.
Parvez Alam, residential surgeon at Tongi Hospital, said that they had already made a special duty roster with expert doctors and nurses. Six medical camps have also been set up around the Ijtema ground while 14 ambulances would be kept on standby.
Visiting the ground yesterday, Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque said that they were working their best so that no militant outfit could carry out any attack on the event.
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal echoed Mozammel.
Earlier, three intelligence agencies in their reports mentioned that militant groups might conduct subversive acts during the Ijtema. To tackle such incidents, special measures have already been taken at the Dhaka airport and the Ijtema ground.
Harun-or-Rashid, police superintendent of Gazipur, said that 16,000 law enforcers started working from yesterday to ensure smooth observance of the event.