POST TIME: 14 June, 2018 00:00 00 AM
Dhaka starts wearing deserted look
Staff reporter

Dhaka starts wearing deserted look

Hordes of homebound passengers, who are basically rural to urban migrants, crowd into a train to enjoy Eid-ul -Fitr, getting back to village homes. The picture was taken from the capital’s Airport railway station yesterday. Photo: Nazmul Islam

Residents of Dhaka have started leaving the city to celebrate the Eid-ul-fitr with their relatives and friends over the past few days. But heavy rains and traffic gridlocks have played spoilsport for holidaymakers.  

Most of the bus terminals and train stations in the capital are packed like sardines and people feared long tailbacks on highways.

The three-day government holiday for Eid will begin from June 15 as Eid is likely to be celebrated on June 16.  

Meanwhile, law enforcers are monitoring the situation every day with other government organisations.

The police are working hard to keep all the entrance and exit routes in the capital free from traffic. There are also mobile courts, along with adequate police personnel, so that passengers are not harassed in different bus counters, launches and railway stations. '

Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) commissioner Asaduzzaman Mia during a sudden visit to the Mahakhali terminal yesterday warned bus owners, saying that stern measures would be taken if extra fare was charged from passengers.

He also said that there are fare lists at each counter. “Our policemen are in touch with the bus owners' associations people. There is a mobile court, which won’t allow the bus-owners to charge extra fare. I’ve spoken to the passengers myself. They have said they are not paying extra fare,” he added.

Visiting different bus terminals, this correspondent found that passengers were being comfortable with the bus travel.

However, some passengers claimed that extra fare had been charged from them. In the Sayedabad bus terminal, the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) suspended Ekushe, Himachal and Royal bus services for charging extra fare. No crowd was witnessed at the Gabtoli bus terminal yesterday. One of the transport workers said there would be crowd at the place from next afternoon.

Some passengers in the area said that tickets were available at higher prices.

The scenario at the Mahakhali terminal was a little different. Passengers expressed no grouse about the extra fares.

The journey before Eid was not smooth for commuters for the past few years. But the situation is very different ths year.

Transport workers, however, said some points on the highways will give trouble to the holidaymakers.  Pressure of vehicles and passengers will be felt from this afternoon as the holiday begins from Friday. Standby services are ready to maintain the schedule.

Counter managers of north- and south-going buses said there was no major traffic congestion on the highways. “If this situation continues, the journey before the Eid will be hassle-free,” said one of them.

All passenger trains from Kamalapur Railway Station in Dhaka maintained their schedule till this noon. Railway minister Mujibul Haque visited the rail station yesterday afternoon. Special train services started operating from yesterday.

There was no pressure at the Dhaka Sadarghat launch terminal. There were a large number of people there yesterday.

But the pressure of passengers decerased as the day progressed.

Vessels, however, moved slowly due to inclement weather. Warning signals were also hoisted in river ports.  In total, 25 launches left Sadarghat from yesterday morning to noon. Ninety-six launches left on Tuesday.

The Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWA) and Transport Corporation (TC) introduced special launch services from Tuesday on the occasion of Eid.

Recently, three special vigilance teams for the terminals in Dhaka have been formed with representatives from BRTA, DMP, two city corporations and associations of transport operators and workers to monitor ticket fares to prevent the charging of extra fare during Eid. A monitoring committee has also been formed to supervise the vigilance teams.