Wednesday, September 15, 2010

People start returning to city

City dwellers, mostly working people, are returning to the capital after celebrating Eid with their near and dear ones in the countryside.

Bus and launch terminals and Kamalapur railway station are overcrowded with people returning to the capital.
At least 50 per cent of the city’s over 1.20 crore people had left for the countryside by road, railway and waterways to celebrate Eid, transport operators estimated.
Returning people said at the terminals on Monday that they faced less of hassles in coming back compared to what they experienced while leaving the capital.
At Sadarghat launch terminal, Abdur Rahman, on return from Madaripur said he had suffered a lot while going home.
But the journey back was hassle-free with no comparable rush of passengers.
Reazuddin Ahmed said on return from Barisal that though he would love to spend a few more days at his village home he had to return to his work.
Arifur Rahman, a toll collector at Sadarghat launch terminal, said the vessels on return trips were less crowded this year.
‘Some people prefer to return early to avoid hassle,’ he said.
But he expects the rush to increase in a day or two.
About 50 launches anchored at the terminal on Monday until the afternoon, said port personnel.
Twenty trains arrived at Kamalapur railway station until Monday evening carrying a large number of returnees.
All the Dhaka-bound trains had to carry excess passengers, said Bangladesh Railway senior commercial officer, Abu Sayeed Ahmed.
‘Ekota Express carried about 950 passengers against the capacity of 600,’ he said.
‘Considering the pressure,’ Sayeed said, ‘We want to continue special services between Dhaka and Dewanganj until September 16.’
Mahbubur Rashid, who returned to the city from Jamalpur, suggested that the Eid holidays should be increased to least five days.
Several passengers said that rundown buses and inter-city express trains made their journey uncomfortable.
City dwellers, who returned on Monday, said that they had to suffer a lot due to traffic jams on Dhaka-Khulna, Dhaka-Rajshahi and Dhaka-Chittagong and other routes a day before the Eid.
Travellers said that road accidents aggravated traffic jams on major highways before and after the Eid.
People were under great pressure to go home on Wednesday or Thursday and return on Sunday or Monday morning, said Abu Daud Md Isa, who had to spend 10 hours on the way to reach Jhenaidah.
‘Usually, it takes five and a half hours to reach my home,’ he said.
The finance minister, AMA Muhith, however, opposed the idea of extending the Eid vacation as no newspapers are available during such holidays.
Gabtoli, Sayedabad and Mahakhali inter-district bus terminals were overcrowded with passengers, mainly apparel workers.
Transport companies abnormally increased bus fares on different routes, said travellers.
A private bank employee, Rakib Hasan, on return from Magura, said that bus fare on the Dhaka-Khulna routes were raised by Tk 100 to Tk 150 per passenger.
He said he had to buy a chair coach ticket of Hanif Paribahan at Magura bus terminal for Tk 400, which was much more than the usual rate of Tk 250 to Tk 270.
Waiting travellers at Gabtali terminal, however, said that extortionists collected money in the name of Tafazzal Sardar without any reason.
Jahidur Rahman said Rapid Action Battalion did not help passengers against extortionists.

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