Eid exodus picks up momentum

July 16, 2015

Dhaka people brave rain, jam, and waterlogging to go home
Torrential rain since early yesterday morning put many heading home for the Eid holidays in trouble getting to bus, train and launch terminals in the capital.
The perennial congestion and the usual chaos of Dhaka were, however, easing off despite waterlogging and tailbacks on some thoroughfares. Streets around shopping malls were crammed with vehicles, causing home goers even more pain.
The city’s bus, train and launch terminals saw increased flow of passengers. The rush of holidaymakers would intensify even further from today, the last working day before the Eid, which would either be on Saturday or Sunday.
Transport operators said the mad rush would begin tonight and continue until the night before Eid.
Many would take risks — travelling unsafely — during their journey home to celebrate Eid with their near and dear ones.
Transport operators said people had started leaving the capital a few days early to avoid hassles during late rush. Many working people had taken a day off to go home early and they had been leaving since Tuesday night.
Yesterday, people set off for terminals but had to face difficulty reaching there due to rain. Many were soaked but did not have to deal with any hassles at the terminals.
They did face congestions on Dhaka-Chittagong and Dhaka-Tangail highways and waterlogging on the Dhaka-Mymensingh highway.
A truck stationary with a punctured tyre on the single carriageway Meghna-Gumti bridge caused a jam on the Dhaka-Chittagong highway around 5:00am. The truck was towed away in 30 minutes but by then the damage was done. The queue of vehicles was 22km long on both sides of the bridge.
The traffic jam was still there when this report was filed yesterday evening.
People who left Dhaka in the morning for Comilla, Feni, Chittagong and other south-eastern districts were stuck in the jam.
Heavy rain caused waterlogging at some places on the Tongi-Joydevpur road on Dhaka-Mymensingh highway, disrupting traffic.
Potholes had developed on many roads, causing officials of Roads and Highways Department to be concerned.
Traffic movement on the Dhaka-Tangail highway slowed down yesterday due to increased number of vehicles leaving the capital for northern districts.
Police said the onrush of vehicles increased since Tuesday night and the trend was likely to continue.
Our Tangail correspondent said vehicles were moving in queue and slowly on the 65km long Chandra-Bangabandhu Bridge stretch of the road.
Abul Kalam, president of bus owners’ association at Mohakhali Bus Terminal, said passengers have begun to leave Dhaka in large numbers. “There would have been more passengers, had there been no rain,” he told The Daily Star yesterday.
Mosharaf Hossain, Hanif Paribahan general manager, claimed that even though the rush of passengers had increased, they were not facing any problems as they had adequate number of buses in reserve.
Manager Dinesh Kumer of Shyamoli Paribahan expects the pressure of passengers to increase more today
A large number of passengers were also seen at the Kamalapur Railway Station and the Sadarghat Launch Terminal. Both trains and launches were crowded.

-With The Daily Star Input

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