Abdur Rahman Jahangir & M Jahangir Alam
Dhaka – Huge tailbacks on different highways and ferry ghats and schedule collapse of bus operators for the third consecutive day on Saturday, made trips of the Eid holidaymakers to their destinations woefully measurable.
Desperate to go to their village homes to celebrate the Eid-ul-Azha on Tuesday with their families, the passengers were stuck in gridlocks on Dhaka-Chittagong, Dhaka-Tangail highways, Daulatdia-Paturia and Shimulia-Kawrakandi ferry routes for hours due to excessive rush of vehicles. An estimated six million out of about 20 million Dhaka-dwellers make trips to their village homes to celebrate the Eid religious festivals in Bangladesh.However, the situation started improving Saturday afternoon on the highways.
Superintendent of Police (SP) of Highway Range (Gazipur) Md Shafiqul Islam claimed the traffic congestion on Dhaka-Tangail highway has become almost normal after 2:00 pm.
He said the vehicles were seen mostly carrying garment workers heading for different northern districts as most RMG factories announced Eid holiday from today, he said.
SP (Highway) of Comilla Md Rezaul Karim said traffic has become almost normal on Dhaka-Chittagong highway after 3pm. “Vehicles were seen moving towards Chittagong from Dhaka smoothly in the afternoon,” he added.
Kamalapur Railway Station, bus terminals and Sadarghat Ferry Terminal got crowded from early morning with the home-goers waiting to catch their transports to reach their respective village homes.
Though trains and launches could maintain their schedules by and large, most buses were running behind their schedules, forcing the passengers to wait for hours at their counters.
Shaymoli Paribahan manger (head office) Jiban Chakrawarty said they could not maintain their schedules as their most vehicles returning from outside Dhaka got stuck on roads.
Deputy commissioner (media) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Masudur Rahman said around 15 million holidaymakers are likely to leave the capital city from Saturday morning to night.
He, however, hoped that there will be no tailbacks and sufferings of home-goers on Sunday and Monday as the traffic load will ease with the fall in passenger numbers.
Holidaymakers had to endure torturous journeys on Thursday and Friday as well due to serious tailbacks on highways and mismanagement at ferry ghats.
UNB Munishiganj correspondent reports, a 10-km long tailback was created on the Dhaka-Chittagong Highway in Gazaria upazila on Saturday morning, causing enormous sufferings to eid trippers.
Tanjubul Alam, a private university student, said he started his journey for Chittagong by bus from Sayedabad at 6am and reached his destination around 6pm due to serious traffic jam on the highway. “Usually, it takes 6 hours go to Chittagong from Dhaka,” he added.
Kamruzzaman Raj, sergeant of Bhaberchar Highway Police Station, said the tailback was created at the stretch from Meghna Bridge to Daribaushia for the comparatively narrow passage of the bridge than the four-lane highway.
However, law enforcers have been trying their best to ease the traffic jam, he added.
On the other hand, several hundred of buses, trucks and other vehicles were stuck in long queues on both ends of Shimulia-Kawarakandi ferry route waiting to cross the river.
Abdul Alim, assistant manager of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC), said some 17 ferries are now in operation on the route for carrying vehicles.
Superintendent of Police of the district M Jayedul Alam PPM said some 580 additional police personnel have been deployed on the Shimulia-Kawarakandi route aiming to make the holidaymakers’ journeys hassle-free.
According to UNB’s Manikganj correspondent, hundreds of vehicles remained stranded at Paturia end of Daulatdia-Paturia ferry route following long traffic jam created from Jamgora to Daulatdia.
Fatema Begum, a private firm employee, along with her family members, including two children, left Dhaka for Khulna around 7am. “We had to wait for nearly three hours to cross the Padma River.”
Abdur Rahman Jahangir & M Jahangir Alam