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Highway snarl-up passes pressure to railway

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Vehicles remain stranded in a massive traffic jam for the 5th consecutive day on Monday on Dhaka-Chattogram Highway. This picture was taken from Gouripur area in Cumilla district.

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UNB, Chattogram :
Unpredictable tailback on Dhaka-Chittagong highway discouraged people travelling by road thereby, putting extra pressure on railway.
As a result, railway is facing hard time coping with this sudden surge of passengers.
Though authorities have cut down on the tailback on Dhaka-Chittagong highway, passengers are still avoiding travels by road.
This correspondent saw huge crowd at Chittagong Railway station since morning to evening and many were found leaving station without getting tickets.
"I came to Chittagong from Dhaka with my mother on Friday last by Sonar Bangla (train). We had a plan to return Dhaka by bus as we wanted to see the natural beauty of Bangladesh both by bus and train," a Nepalese student told UNB wishing not to be quoted by name.
She, however, said they have changed their mind and decided to return by train instead of bus to catch flight to Kathmandu on Wednesday morning without any problem.
The Nepalese student who came to Chittagong to attend convocation ceremony of her elder sister at Asian University for Women said it took over six hours to get train tickets though they managed the tickets through reference as there is no ticket in counter.
This correspondent saw longer line in a specialized counter dedicated for first class and all types of pre-booked and reference tickets compared to regular counters until5pm. There have been incidents of scuffling between railway security forces and ticket seekers.
When three foreign female students, reportedly from Indonesia, were given chance to collect tickets bypassing the queue dominated by males, one of the ticket seekers protested it and engaged in altercation with railway security staff.
At one stage, railway security personnel were seen beating the youth.
Later, senior railway officials came and handled the situation.
Talking to UNB, an official at the railway station said they always see pressure from passengers but the condition on highway put extra pressures on them.
Dhaka-Chittagong highway witnessed tailback for the last five days and the snarl up spread over a 114-km stretch on Sunday.
Talking to UNB, SM Arifuzzaman Amiree said the traffic jam is now reducing gradually.
"It took over 12 hours to reach Dhaka on Friday. But on Monday I came after an overnight journey and reached Chittagong in the morning."
He said it seems that from Dhaka to Chittagong the traffic jam is reducing while traffic congestion from Chittagong to Dhaka is not eased yet.

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