For the second day, holidaymakers going to the northern districts faced long delays at Kamalapur Railway Station yesterday, as at least half a dozen trains were behind schedule by one to three and a half hour.
Trains for other destinations left almost on time, with relatively lesser crowds seen at the country’s premier railway station.
Many people left the capital through Sadarghat Launch Terminal yesterday, while crowds were at a normal level at long-route bus terminals. No major tailbacks were reported on highways.
Meanwhile, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader yesterday said vacationers would be comfortable as he had negated any possibility of traffic jams on highways, reports BSS.
“There is no need to worry about traffic congestion on roads and highways this year. The holidaymakers will also be able to return to the capital city smoothly after celebrating Eid,” he told reporters while visiting the Mohakhali bus terminal.
TRAIN DELAYS, SOUR MOOD
Asmaul Islam and nine other masons came to Kamalapur station around 1:00pm from Cumilla to go to their home town of Rajshahi.
“We came to know that our train -- Silkcity Express -- was delayed by more than two hours. We have nothing to do but wait here,” he said.
The Rajshahi-bound train was scheduled to leave the station at 2:40pm but the authority later said it would depart at 5:10pm instead.
Similarly, the Chapainawabganj-bound Rajshahi Express was scheduled to leave the station at 12:20pm but was later announced to be leaving at 2:45pm.
But the train did not reach at the station till 2:30pm. The same train had left Kamalapur station after around a two-hour delay on Friday.
“Delay in schedule is a regular phenomenon for this train. The authority is very much aware but do nothing about it,” Rifat Khan, a private university student said.
The Nilphamari-bound Nilsagar Express also ran three-and-a-half-hours behind schedule. It had also been delayed by one hour and 40-minutes on Friday.
Meanwhile, the rail authority was forced to change the entire train, including the locomotive and carriages, of Rangpur Express, which saw a seven-hour delay on Friday. Yesterday, the train had left Kamalapur after a one and quarter hour delay.
The change resulted in passengers facing problems in finding their seats. Many passengers, who had bought tickets for AC seats, did not get those and had to go by normal seats.
Earlier on Thursday, the same train got delayed by three to four hours due to a technical glitch in one of its bogies, a railway official said.
The delay increased on Friday, thus forcing the authority to change the entire train.
Besides, the Khulna-bound Sundarbans Express left after an hour’s delay, while the Chattogram-bound Chattala Express was delayed by half an hour.
Around 10:30am yesterday, Kamalapur Railway Station Manager Mohammed Aminul Haque said four among 17 trains had been delayed.
He told reporters that the pressure of passengers caused the trains to reach the station late and so it could not leave on time either.
About Rangpur Express, he said they tried their best to replace the seats on the train. They have to replace AC seats with first class chairs as the new train had two AC chair coaches less than the original one.
On Friday, Railways Minister Nurul Islam Sujan visited the railway station and apologised for the delays on the first day of the weekend ahead of Eid.
NO MAD RUSH AT GABTOLI
Eid holidaymakers’ rush at city’s Gabtoli bus terminal was thin yesterday, with several bus services cancelling their trips due to shortage of passengers.
Staffers of at least four southern-region bound bus services said shortage of passengers had led them to cancel 14 trips.
Sanjeeb Babu, counter master of Hanif Paribahan at Gabtoli Bus Terminal, said they cancelled six trips since morning due to a shortage of passengers, while five buses left for their destinations with many seats vacant.
Although the respective bus services who cancelled made alternative arrangements -- either by returning tickets or arranging seats on another bus on the same route -- passengers of the cancelled bus trips alleged that they were not informed prior to the cancellation.
“They have returned the money. But I am not sure whether I will get a ticket of another suitable bus service with a preferred seat,” Monowar Hosssain, a student of a private university, said.
The buses that did depart left on time. Torrential rain in the morning, however, and shortage of passengers forced several bus services to delay their trips by 15 to 30 minutes, staffers of different bus services said.
Meanwhile, Badiuzzaman Badal, senior vice-chairman of Bangladesh Inland Waterways (passenger carriers’) Association, said the number of passengers going by waterways started to increase from Friday and will reach peak on June 3.
“We have completed all our preparation to take people home,” he added.