Eid Rush: Minor hurdles on roads
With the Eid-ul-Azha only three days away, thousands of holidaymakers left the capital without facing much hassle at the exit points yesterday but were caught in traffic snarl-ups at different highways.
The bus and launch terminals and railway stations in the capital have already started witnessing crowds of home-goers. The rush of holidaymakers is expected to gain momentum in next two days.
Although the government has assured of taking adequate measures, transport operators fear the traffic on the highways may go haywire if it rains and the authorities fail to control vehicular movement at key points when traffic pressures intensify.
The exit points of the capital and its outskirts have always been a matter of concern for the holidaymakers before Eid as these points witness traffic chaos due to excessive flow of vehicles, haphazard parking and stoppage, and cattle markets close to the road.
However, the traffic movement was quite smooth as of yesterday.
During a visit to different bus terminals, comparatively fewer holidaymakers were seen yesterday. Many passengers said the situation was good so far as most of the buses left the counters almost on time.
"I'm very happy that our bus is leaving on time," said Nasir Rahman, a private firm official who was going to his village home in Satkhira with his family members, at Shyamoli bus counter. He added he took two days off before the official holiday just to avoid the huge rush of people.
"Last year I suffered a lot and do not want to face it again," he said.
Shimul, a staff at Hanif Paribahan, said most of their buses left the counters on time.
But as the rush of home-goers is likely to intensify in next two days, there might be some delays due to bad condition of the highways caused by rain. Some passengers, especially those heading for southern districts, said they are worried about the Paturia and Daulatdia ferry terminals.
"Last year it was a nightmare to cross the Padma as we were stuck in traffic congestion for six hours. We do not know what will happen this year," said Rummon, a student of a private university.
Every year the holidaymakers face huge traffic jam at the ferry terminals due to lack of ferries against the rising number of buses and their poor management.
As of yesterday evening, traffic movement was quite smooth on both sides of the Padma. On Paturia side, only 30 to 40 buses were lined up to cross the river, reports our Manikganj correspondent.
In Comilla, Eid holidaymakers had to suffer due to tailbacks on the highways yesterday.
Three-to-four-kilometre-long tailback was formed on the highway starting from the toll plaza on Meghna-Gomati Bridge up to Hasanpur in Daudkandi. Several hundred vehicles were waiting in long tailback for the heavy rush to ease, writes our Comilla correspondent.
In Munshiganj, more than 500 vehicles were waiting in line to cross the river at Shimulia ferry ghat, reports our Munshiganj correspondent.
Ferry movement was halted for around six hours till 5:00am yesterday after a pontoon plate at ghat number-3 got displaced by strong current in the Padma. Hundreds of vehicles including more than 300 trucks carrying sacrificial animals were stuck in the snarl-up.
Although ferry service resumed in the morning, traffic movement was slow and the tailback was likely to linger for a while.
Many homebound people have been using alternative means like launches and speedboats to avoid traffic congestion and reach their destinations quickly.
Normal vehicular movement was seen on Dhaka-Tangail Highway up to the toll plaza at the east end of Bangabandhu Multipurpose Bridge on the Jamuna river, reports our Tangail correspondent at 11:30am.
Meantime, most of the trains left Kamalapur Railway Station on time yesterday.
As many as 30 trains departed from the station as of 3:00pm. Of them, only two were late, said Railway Minister Mujibul Haque while visiting the station.
He added they have arranged special train services and added additional coaches to facilitate journey of the additional passengers.