Holidaymakers head for village homes
Lit up faces were all around at launch terminals, and bus and railway stations. The people heading home for holidays were abuzz as they waited to be reunited with their loved ones.
As tomorrow is one of the biggest religious festivals of the country, thousands were heading home to celebrate Eid amid worry of suffering on the way and concern over reaching home on time.
As a large number of home goers have already left the capital in the Durga Puja holiday, the hustle and bustle of the busy capital virtually stopped and the city turned almost congestion free.
At the bus and train stations, the home goers seemed to be indifferent to the sufferings that could be waiting along their way, in the form of traffic jams and other delays.
Train compartments were full with standing passengers. Those who got tickets were caught up in the holiday spirit and many of them were seen sharing seats with those who were less fortunate.
Buses and trains were seen carrying passengers even on their roofs. Launch passengers at Sadarghat were also seen risking their lives by getting on the roofs of launches. Going home for Eid seemed to be the most important thing in their lives.
A large section of the people going home yesterday was garment workers, who got off work yesterday.
Abbasuddin, a garment worker, was seen at Sadarghat trying to go to Bhola. “It is difficult to make the journey back home because of the rush of people. But go I will, I want to see my parents,” he said.
All the roads towards the Sadarghat launch terminal were jam-packed with home-goers. A seemingly unending stream of people proceeded from Gulistan to the terminal.
People were seen waiting for a launch since the morning. In the afternoon, there was a mad rush in the terminal. As soon as a launch reached the terminal, the home goers made a dash for it. As the passenger number was several times higher than the capacity, many failed to get on board.
Shamim Akhter, heading for Barguna, became one of the extra passengers of a launch. Talking to Daily Star he said all of his family members left Dhaka four days ago and he was going to join them.
Almost every launch departed Sadarghat with twice the passengers of its capacity, sources said.
The authorities concerned were seen facing difficulties to deal with the crowd.
One of the traffic inspectors of BIWTA, who was “clearing” launches for journey, said they were allowing the launches to carry additional passengers considering the rush.
“We are doing so to facilitate them in celebrating Eid with their families. But we are not allowing them [launches] to cross the load lines [the line on the hull indicating maximum load],” he added preferring to be unnamed.
The passengers, however, expressed satisfaction over the management.
Meanwhile, 16 ferries struggled to carry passengers and vehicles between Mawa and Kawrakandi throughout the day yesterday, our correspondent reported.
Several hundred vehicles were in queues on the highway waiting for their turn to cross the river.
Taking the advantage, speedboats and launches continued to overcharge passengers yesterday. Speedboats charged around Tk 200 instead of the usual Tk 130, alleged passengers.
Traffic on other major highways seemed to be going smoothly as of yesterday evening.
Source: The daily star