Mad rush as advance train tickets go on sale
After a six-hour anxious wait in a long queue, Eid holidaymaker Mofazzal Hossain got his desired train ticket yesterday.
It put a big smile on his face that hardly reflected the sufferings he had just undergone at Kamalapur Railway Station.
”I have got my ticket and I am going to visit my parents this Eid,” said an elated Mofazzal, a motor mechanic who is scheduled to leave the capital on September 20.
Like him, thousands of city dwellers thronged the railway station yesterday to buy advance train tickets ahead of Eid-ul-Azha which is to be celebrated on September 25.
Though the counters opened at 9:00am, many started to join the queues for tickets from early yesterday.
”I came here last night to get in the front of the line. Now, I have got tickets but I had to wait for some nine hours,” Soharab Hossain, another ticket-seeker, told The Daily Star around 10:00am.
The private job holder who will travel to Khulna on September 20 said he had purchased tickets the same way in the previous years.
But all were not as lucky as Mofazzal and Soharab.
Many returned empty-handed even after standing in queues for hours as tickets for their desired date were already sold out.
"I came here around 9:00am and stood at the end of my line. When my turn came around 1:00pm, I was told that there was no ticket,” said Mahtab Hossain, a college student, who was looking for a ticket to Rangpur on the same day.
Many passengers alleged that adequate tickets were not available due to a quota system.
Railway officials said of the total tickets, 25 percent are to be sold online while five percent are kept reserved for VIPs, five percent for railway staff and around seven percent for regular quota that include MPs, justices, freedom fighters and people with disabilities.
On average, around 18,000 tickets are sold daily at Kamalapur Railway Station ahead of Eid, they added.
Meanwhile, Railway Minister Mazibul Hoque yesterday visited the railway station and warned of stern action if train schedules were not maintained due to anyone's negligence.
Our Chittagong correspondent added that ticket-seekers also thronged the railway station there from early yesterday and there was a huge crowd yesterday morning.
Two special trains will run on Chittagong-Chandpur route from September 22 till the day before Eid to tackle the rush of home-goers, said officials.
Tickets for only September 20 were sold yesterday, the first day of the sale of advance Eid tickets. The tickets for September 21, 22, 23 and 24 would be available today, tomorrow, Friday and Saturday.
Return tickets for September 27, 28, 29, 30 and October 1 will be sold on September 23, 24, 25, 26 and 27 respectively at Rajshahi, Khulna, Rangpur, Dinajpur and Lalmonirhat railway stations.