10 trains run behind schedule

Commuters waiting at the edge of a platform of the Kamalapur Railway Station for the Jayantika Express, which operates on the Dhaka-Sylhet-Dhaka route, yesterday afternoon. The train, which was supposed to arrive at 11:15pm, was delayed by at least over an hour, causing sufferings to passengers who had reached the station much earlier in the morning. PHOTO: PRABIR DAS

People have started leaving the capital for the Eid-ul-Azha holidays and many suffered yesterday due to traffic snarl-ups on Dhaka-Rangpur highway and train delays.

There was a gridlock on Dhaka-Rangpur highway between Bangabandhu Bridge east toll plaza and Rasulpur in Tangail for about 10 hours. Traffic flow normalised around noon yesterday. 

At least 10 trains departed Kamalapur Railway Station late. The delays were between half an hour and four and a half hours.

More people are expected to leave Dhaka this evening as it is the last working day for government employees until the Eid holidays end on Tuesday.

However, the Eid rush is likely to reach its peak on Saturday after the closure of garment factories, transport operators and police said.

Eid-ul-Azha will be celebrated in the country on Monday.

Bangladesh Railway started its special Eid service yesterday, but passengers had to suffer amid sweltering heat due to train delays.

Anwar Hossain went to Kamalapur Railway Station at 1:00pm to go to Chattogram by Chattala Express. But the train did not leave the station until 3:45pm.

"Waiting for such a long time with children amid the intense heat is very difficult," he told The Daily Star.

Sylhet-bound Parabat Express left Dhaka two hours behind schedule while the departure of Jayantika Express, bound for the same destination, was delayed by an hour and 40 minutes.

Chattogram-bound Mohanagar Provati ran one and a half hours behind schedule while Rangpur-bound Rangpur Express left Dhaka 45 minutes late.

Chapainawabganj-bound Rajshahi Commuter left Dhaka three and a half hours behind schedule while the departure of Chattogram-bound Karnaphuli Commuter was delayed by four and a half hours.

Rajshahi-bound Silkcity Express and Sylhet-bound Kalni Express were 30 minutes behind schedule.

Rajshahi-bound Modhumati Express was supposed to leave Dhaka at 3:00pm, but it did not depart until 3:45pm when this correspondent visited Kamalapur Railway Station.

Speaking to The Daily Star at 3:00pm, Masud Sarwar, Kamalapur station manager, said only two trains -- Parabat Express and Mohanagar Provati Express -- were behind schedule.

Asked about the long delays in services of mail and commuter trains, he said those delays should not be taken into consideration given the huge rush of home-goers.


A huge pressure of vehicles lead to a 18-km tailback on Dhaka-Rangpur highway, stretching from the east end of Bangabandhu Bridge to Rasulpur, reports our Tangail correspondent citing police.

Police and transport workers said vehicles moved slowly on that part of the highway since midnight on Tuesday due to heavy traffic.

The tailback grew yesterday morning. However, the situation became almost normal around noon.

Sajedur Rahman, in-charge at the highway police outpost in Elenga, said the ongoing construction of the four-lane highway, stretching from the eastern end of the Bangabandhu Bridge to Elenga, slowed down traffic.

He also blamed rush of vehicles and reckless driving at night for the traffic jam.

On Tuesday night, Dhaka-bound vehicles heading towards Bangabandhu Bridge were diverted to the Bhuanpur Link Road, causing tailbacks on the link road as well.

The bridge authority said traffic pressure on the bridge was increasing. A total of 28,401 vehicles crossed the bridge in 24 hours preceding midnight on Wednesday and the authorities earned Tk 2.68 crores in toll.

Vehicles heading to 21 districts, including 16 in the north, use the highway and the bridge.

Meanwhile, many people left Dhaka by launches from Sadarghat Launch Terminal yesterday.

"The number of passengers has increased by 20 to 25 percent today [Wednesday] compared to other weekdays. The pressure of passengers will increase further from tomorrow [today]," Alamgir Kabir, joint director of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority, told this correspondent.


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