A huge rush of homebound people was witnessed yesterday, as holidaymakers have started leaving the port city to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr with their families.
The rush was at its peak at the railway station like every year. Outgoing trains were packed with passengers sitting and standing in the compartments, while many got on the roof.
Bus terminals were also abuzz with the homebound people.
The turnout at the railway station was moderate in the morning.
Dhaka-bound Subarna Express left on 6:19am; railway authorities did not provide the passengers with standing tickets for the trip.
However, Mymensingh-bound Bijoy Express, which left at 7:20am, took on the Eid-special character as people tried to get on the roof of the train.
Passengers were later contained by the members of Railway Nirapotta Bahini (RNB).
Members of Railway Nirapotta Bahini were seen making people get down from the roof of Bijoy Express as there was a scope of buying standing tickets and also room inside the train.
Abul Khayer Md Saleh Patwary, assistant commander of Railway Nirapotta Bahini, told The Daily Star that they were trying their best to keep people safe on their way home to celebrate Eid with their loved ones.
Sale of standing tickets was sporadic during the morning, informed Mukunda Lal Shikari, a travel ticket examiner (TTE) at Chittagong Railway Station.
“In previous years during the pre-Eid rush, we couldn't even catch our breath. But this year, people aren't buying standing tickets that much. May be the unfavourable weather made them stay in the city. The rush might get heavy later today,” said the travel ticket examiner.
The crowd swelled eventually in the evening and Station Manager Md Abul Kalam Azad ensured this correspondent that the rush would continue into the night.
Post-Eid tickets were being sold at the counter.
Sheela Ahmed, waiting in the queue since 6:30am, said she came to the station to buy ticket for June 23.
“I came from Dhaka to celebrate Eid here. But I have to ensure my ticket to Dhaka after the vacation,” she said.
At Bahaddarhat, Kadamtali and Shubhapur bus terminals in the port city, hundreds of people began gathering after noon.
Ticket sellers were busy, though some of them said the sorry state of highways due to the recent rains has discouraged passengers a little this year.