In about the middle of Ramadan, advance sale of bus and railway tickets kicked off in the capital yesterday morning to ease sufferings of home bound passengers.
Hundreds of people thronged different bus counters and Kamalapur Railway Station and stood in queues since Thursday night to collect tickets.
Despite a strenuous waiting for the whole night, many had to return home empty-handed as some bus counters did not sell their whole lots of tickets on the first day.
Some complained of bus operators charging extra, while others expressed their frustration for not getting first class tickets from the railway counter as those were sold out within an hour.
Yesterday, the Bangladesh Railway (BR) authority sold around 18,000 advance tickets for travel on August 4.
Raihanul Abedin, a resident of Mirpur, said he had gone to Kamalapur Railway Station after having his Iftar on Thursday night.
Though he was in the front section of a queue, he failed to buy a first class ticket, Raihanul said, adding that he finally returned home with ‘shovon’ chair tickets for Mymensingh route.
Asked about the complaint, Abu Taher, director general of BR, told The Daily Star the problem had arisen due to a small number of first class cabin available on different routes.
Taher, who visited the station yesterday morning, hoped that no complaint of selling tickets on the black market will arise this year as they had taken special measures.
An official of BR said there were a cabin and a coach in each train for the first class passengers.
Of the first class tickets reserved for a train, 25 percent are sold by e-ticketing, five percent are kept for VIP passengers, five percent for railways staff, he said, adding that the rest of the first class tickets are sold to passengers.
Tickets of August 5 would be sold today, while those of August 6 tomorrow, August 7 on July 29 and August 8 on July 30.
The advance sale of return ticket will start from August 2. Ticket of August 11 will be sold on August 2, while those of August 12 on August 3, August 13 on August 4, August 14 on August 5 and August 15 on August 6.
Like the previous years, the rail authority has arranged special train services during Eid holidays this year.
Two trains will start carrying passengers on Dhaka-Dewanganj-Dhaka and Chittagong-Chandpur-Chittagong routes, three days before the Eid.
A couple of trains will also start running on Parbatipur-Dhaka-Parbatipur and Dhaka-Khulna-Dhaka routes three days before the Eid.
Apart from these, a couple of trains will ply the Bhairab-Kishoreganj-Sholakiya and Mymanshing-Kishorganj-Solakiya routes.
Passengers will be able to buy train tickets via internet. To purchase the ticket, they will have to visit: www.railway.gov.bd
Twenty-five percent tickets will be sold online, said an official of the railway.
Bus operators were taking advantage of people’s desperation to go home for Eid, charging additional amount for advance tickets.
Badsha Mollah had to pay Tk 550 for a ticket of August 7. Earlier, he used to pay Tk 400 for his journey to Chuadanga.
Foyez Ahmed, counter manager of JR Paribahan at Gabtali, said they were charging Tk 550 which was Tk 500 last year for Dhaka-Chuadanga route.