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11 August, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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Eid journey

Sufferings peak due to gridlock, train delays

STAFF REPORTER, Dhaka with OUR CORRESPONDENT, Tangail
Sufferings peak due to 
gridlock, train delays
Schedule collapse forces hundreds of people to wait on platforms as well as on rail tracks at Kamalapur Railway Station in the capital yesterday ahead of Eid-ul-Azha. Most of the trains reached the station six-to seven hours behind schedule causing immense sufferings to people. Focus Bangla Photo

Eid holidaymakers yesterday (Saturday) faced long delays on their way home for the third consecutive day due to a disruption of ferry services, long tailbacks on highways and late departure of almost all trains. Buses heading towards the northern districts were also rescheduled, which created chaos among passengers.

At Kamalapur railway station, train delays of up to 15 hours and rescheduling turned homebound journeys on the northern and south-western routes into nightmare.

Holidaymakers, particularly women, children and the elderly, had to suffer due to the more than 50km tailback on the Dhaka-Tangail highway, our Tangail correspondent reports from the spot.

Suspension and delay of launch and ferry operations on different routes, including Shimulia-Kathalbari ghats, on the Padma river also caused suffering for holidaymakers.

Train schedules disrupted

Home-goers were seen waiting at the station for hours, not knowing when their trains would leave Dhaka and reach their destinations.

With the Eid vacation officially beginning on Sunday, majority of the people sought to return home during the weekend holidays on Friday and Saturday.

Train schedules went haywire following the derailment of a Khulna-bound intercity train on the eastern side of Bangabandhu Bridge on Friday, causing eight to 15-hour delays.

Rail communication between Dhaka and the northern districts were cut off for three hours following the derailment and consequently affected other train routes.

In the morning, only one train — the Panchagarh bound Ekata Express — left the station around 11:55am, two hours behind schedule.

According to the railway authorities, under the fresh schedule, the Sunderbans Express left Kamalapur station around 2:20pm instead

of 6:20am. The Dhumketu Express left Dhaka around 5:30pm instead of 6:00am, and the Nilsagar Express around 6:10pm instead of 8:00am. The Rangpur Express and Lalmonirhat Eid Special train left the station around 10:35pm and 11:15pm, which were scheduled for 9:00am and 9:15am, respectively. The Silk City Express was rescheduled for 11:40pm, instead of 2:40pm.

Jam on Dhaka-Tangail highway

People heading for the northern districts faced traffic jams for hours after crossing the Bangabandhu bridge in the morning due to the poor condition of the road at different points and the Nolka bridge. According to our Tangail correspondent, the 50km-long gridlock was created due to heavy pressure of vehicles also, causing immense suffering to thousands of homebound Eid travellers.

The pressure of vehicles, narrowing of the road at Elenga as work on the four-lane highway is yet to be completed, and cattle-laden trucks with passengers are mainly responsible for the gridlock.

The congestion was from the Bangabandhu Jamuna Multipurpose Bridge (BJMB) to Mirzapur, covering an area of 50km, on either side of the highway. Executive Engineer of BJMB Ahsanul Kabir Pavel said the toll plaza was closed. Vehicles could not enter the toll plaza due to congestion.

The Tangail Superintendent of Police (SP), Sanjib Kumar Rai, said the gridlock was created due to a heavy pressure of vehicles, and also because toll booths were closed for some time.

“Members of law enforcement agencies, such as the district police, highway police and others, have been working on the highway to ease the gridlock,” the SP said. Ferry terminal

A large number of Eid holidaymakers struggled to catch launches and speed boats at the Shimulia Ferry Ghat yesterday morning.

Hundreds of vehicles, mostly private cars and trucks, were seen stranded on the banks of the Padma at Munshiganj’s Shimulia ferry terminal. Assistant general manager of the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC), Md Naseer Uddin, told the media that the pressure of vehicles was very high in the morning, but reduced as the day progressed.

“Passengers are using 17 ferries, 88 launches and around 300 speedboats to cross the Padma,” he added.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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