Sunday, November 21, 2010

Travel turns travails as people start returning to city

People, who left the capital to celebrate Eid-ul-Azha with their near and dear ones, are experiencing huge sufferings in their return journey.
Apart from hassles in procuring bus ticket and booking berth in train or launch, overcrowded vehicles and tailbacks on almost all roads leading to the capital added to their sufferings.
People back dhaka 
Travellers said road accidents aggravated traffic congestions on major highways before and after the Eid.
Transport companies abnormally increased bus fares on different routes, the also alleged.
Mehedi Hassan, on way to Dhaka from Magura, said bus fare on the Khulna-Dhaka routes was increased by Tk 100 to Tk 150.
He said Hanif and Eagle Paribahan were charging Tk 400 for a chair coach ticket at the Magura bus terminal while in other times the price ranged between Tk 250 and Tk 270.
Many passengers alleged that a section of ‘labourers’ identifying themselves as people of the inter-district bus terminal management were collecting extra money for delivering luggage to the passengers.
A passenger from Jhenaidah, M Moniruddin, said a labourer came to him while he got down from a Purbasha bus near the Mazar Road at Gabtali terminal and wanted to carry his goods.
‘As I did not allow him to carry my luggage, he said I have to pay Tk 400 as carrying charge as they had taken the terminal on lease,’ Moniruddin said.
Mahbub Alam, a passenger from Jaipurhat, said tickets were not available at most of the counters in the far away districts.
‘But if you pay extra money, you will get the ticket,’ he added.
City dwellers, mostly working people, started returning to the capital after celebrating Eid-ul-Azha on November 17 after a three-day Eid holiday while government officials enjoyed two weekly holidays added to the Eid holidays.
The inter-district bus terminals at Gabtali, Sayedabad and Mohakhali, Kamalapur and Airport railway stations and Sadarghat launch terminal were crowded with people returning to the capital.
City dwellers, who returned on Saturday, said they had to suffer a lot due to traffic congestions on the Chittagong-Dhaka, Khulna-Dhaka and Rajshahi-Dhaka and other routes.
Several passengers said that unfit buses, inexperienced drivers and inter-city express trains made their journey uncomfortable.
Shohagh Paribahan managing director Faruk Talukder Sohel blamed a section of greedy transport owners for engaging unskilled drivers to increase the frequency of trips during the two Eids for making extra profit.
Jahidur Rahman, another passenger from Jessore, said a man named Tafazzal Sardar asked him to pay Tk 100, saying that they have taken the terminal on lease from the Dhaka City Corporation.
The travellers at Gabtali terminal, however, said extortionists collected money in the name of one Tafazzal Sardar without any reason.
The Darussalam police officer-in-charge, Abdul Malek, said no one filed any complaint with the police station till Saturday evening.
People who returned to the capital midway through the holiday, however, experienced less hassle in the journey.
‘Some people prefer returning early to avoid hassle,’ Razu Hawlader, a passenger from Barisal, said at the Sadarghat launch terminal.
The Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority expects that the rush will peak from Saturday night till the Sunday afternoon.
Fifty-seven launches anchored at the terminal on Saturday day till the afternoon, said the BIWTA deputy director, M Shahidullah, adding that ten more were scheduled to anchor at the terminal.
Thirty-eight trains were scheduled to arrive at Kamalapur railway station till Sunday night, carrying a large number of returnees.
All the Dhaka-bound trains had to carry extra passengers, said Bangladesh Railway’s Kamalapur station master, Nitendra Saha, adding the pressure will increase Sunday.
‘Considering the pressure,’ the Bangladesh Railways divisional commercial officer, Zahirul Islam, said, ‘We want to continue special services until November 22.’
-New Age

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