City dwellers leaving Dhaka to celebrate Eid

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Staff Reporter :
Dhaka city dwellers have started leaving the capital to celebrate Eid-ul-Azha, the largest religious festival, with their families, braving numerous challenges on various routes on Friday.

The Dhaka-Tangail-Bangabandhu and Dhaka-Chattogram highways experienced severe traffic jams since morning due to heavy vehicular pressure. People heading for the Southern region via the Padma Bridge also encountered traffic congestion.

In addition to roads and highways, people are traveling home by rail, water, and air routes every day. Despite the bad traffic experience, passengers complained about exorbitant ticket prices ahead of the Eid vacation.

Passengers and drivers on the Dhaka-Tangail-Bangabandhu highways reported slow vehicular movement on Friday morning, with the situation worsening after 12 o’clock, resulting in a 30 km long traffic congestion.

Apart from public transport, people traveling to the Northern region resorted to boarding trucks, pick-up vans, motorcycles, and even the rooftops of vehicles.

Some passengers attributed the intensified traffic jam to vehicles using diversions. Amena Akhtar, heading for Lalmonirhat district, told the media she reached Elenga-Bhuyapur Link Road at Kalihati Upazila at 3 pm after starting her journey at 8 am. “I don’t know when I will reach home,” she said, adding that the prices of water and other packet foods were also high.

Elenga Highway police in-charge Mir Sajedur Rahman informed the media, “The vehicular pressure suddenly intensified on Thursday evening, creating severe traffic jams. The situation became more difficult by Friday noon.” He added that vehicular pressure would likely increase with the closure of Eid vacation.

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Highway police reported deploying additional officers at various strategic points to ease traffic jams, and surveillance has been increased at different locations.

At the Gabtoli Bus Terminal, there was not much pressure of homebound passengers, but many reported a ticket shortage and being charged additional fares. Md Ismail, who came to the terminal with his family to go to Naogaon, said he paid Tk 1100 for a ticket, which usually costs Tk 700 from Shah Fateh Ali Paribahan.

Counter master Md Habib denied the additional fare claims, stating that passengers give tips due to the ticket shortage.

Passengers bound for Chapainawabganj, Rajshahi, and Naogaon reported difficulties in obtaining tickets. Shirin Akhtar, traveling to Chapainawabganj with her daughter and sister, also struggled to find tickets.

Meanwhile, passengers on the Dhaka-Chattogram highway faced traffic congestion since Friday morning, with a 20 km traffic jam from Meghna-Gomti Toll Plaza to Eliotganj. In Daudkandi upazila, the traffic situation worsened due to the reverse way plying of vehicles such as CNGs, battery-run auto-rickshaws, motorcycles, microbuses, ambulances, and pick-up vans.

Daudkandi Highway police officer Shahinur Islam reported that Highway Police Station members and community police have been deployed to ease the traffic congestion.