As in the past, ticket touts have again grabbed the tickets of both buses and trains, dashing the hopes of many city dwellers to celebrate Eid with their near and dear ones in their villages.
Ticket seekers were found waiting in long queues at Kamalapur Railway Station on Monday with most of them being there right after Sehri.
As they are required to wait for long before getting the tickets, the ticket seekers have introduced token system by themselves to maintain discipline at the station.
Bangladesh Railway started selling train tickets in advance on July 20 where each passenger is able to buy a maximum four tickets. The tickets for July 24, 25, 26, 27 and 28 will be available on July 20, 21, 22, 23 and 24 respectively.
Unlike the situation at Kamalapur Railway Station, inter-district bus terminals, including Titipara, Sayedabad and Mohakhali terminals looked quite empty today.
Countermen of various bus companies told UNB that the crowd has decreased as almost 90 percent of advance tickets have been sold out by July 16.
Many of the ticket seekers at bus terminals in the city complained that a large number of the tickets have already gone into the black market and they have no option but to collect tickets from the black market at double or triple price than the actual rates.
Altaf Ali Sumon, a student of Dhaka College, said he was looking for tickets for the last two days but all the counters said that they have run out of tickets.
“When we were looking tickets from one counter to another, a man came to us and said he can manage some tickets but the price will be double,” he said, “Then we bought five tickets at Tk 1,400 each instead of Tk 800.
The private sector bus services started selling tickets in advance on July 14.
From Friday to Monday, ticket seekers were seen running from one counter to another because of ticket crisis. The countermen only frustrated them, saying ‘No ticket’.
A ticket seeker, Al-Amin at Mohakhali bus terminal, said, “I’m desperately looking four tickets to go to Rangpur, but have not got yet. Now I’m going to Gabtoli bus terminal and that is my last hope”.
For the first time, premium air-conditioned bus services have sold their tickets online.
A counterman at Shyamoli Paribahan at Sayedabad said, “This year we’ve sold a large number of tickets online, so the crowd is little in counters this time. And we’ve many counters scattered across the city.”
Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) is ready with AC, non-AC and double-decker buses for the homebound people ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr while the ticketing process started on July 20 and will continue till July 24.
To check passenger hassles during the ticket collection, BRTC has opened a help desk and its numbers are 02-9564361 and 01818-202186.
Advance ticket sale for launch services also started on July 20 while that for special services will begin on July 24.
Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC) will operate some special launch services, though they have not yet announced the date for selling tickets.
Most of the launches on southern routes have sold out all the cabin tickets in advance a few days earlier. Only deck tickets are available for general passengers, said Shafiqul Islam, a supervisor of ‘Eagle’- a Chandpur-bound launch.
Another ticket seeker, Nazmul Hossain, at Sadarghat launch terminal alleged, “All the cabin and VIP-room tickets were booked a month ago by high government officials, while general people have to travel on open decks, or of overloaded local launches and stemmers.”
The return tickets for July 31 and August 1, 2, 3 and 4 will be available from July 27, 28, 29, 30 and 31.