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Monday, December 16, 2019 01:18:41 PM
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Eid holidaymakers suffer as trains fail to maintain schedules

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Madrush of holidaymakers started leaving the capital for homes to celebrate Eid with their near and dear ones as four days ahead of the festival but their sufferings mount following disruption in the schedules of a number of trains. This photo was taken f

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Staff Reporter :
Thousands of people left the capital for homes on Friday to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr.
Though the official holiday will begin from Tuesday, many employees and officials of government, semi-government and private offices sent their families early last week to avoid the mad rush of people just ahead of Eid.
According to the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP), around five to six million people are expected to leave the city this year. They will travel by trains, buses and launches until Monday to reach their destinations.
"Though there is no statistic or actual figure, we assume around five to six million holidaymakers are likely to leave the city for their village homes," DMP Deputy Commissioner (Media) Masudur Rahman said.
He said they have taken various steps to ensure a safe and hassle-free journey on the occasion of Eid.
Meanwhile, the homebound people suffered immensely on Friday as several inter-city trains were running late on the first day of Bangladesh Railway's Eid special service.
On the day, at least four trains did not start from the stations on time and late by hours.
Frustrated homebound people were seen waiting at train and bus stations on Friday.
Railways Minister Nurul Islam Sujan apologised to the passengers at Kamalapur Railway Station for late running.
Until 12:05pm the Rangpur Express, one of the most popular train services, did not arrive at Kamalapur which was scheduled to start from Dhaka at 9:00am.
Railways Ministry officials said that the train was caught in a storm on Thursday night on its way to Dhaka and was delayed by two hours. Then again it ran late by about three hours due to technical glitch.
The train is scheduled to reach Dhaka at 1:00pm, they added.
The Railways Minister told journalists that the train would be on track by special arrangement on Saturday to maintain the proper schedule.
Meanwhile, Dhumketu Express on the Dhaka-Rajshahi route left Dhaka more than two hours late from scheduled time 6am.
Nilsagar Express on Dhaka-Chilahati section was late by 2.25 hours as it started from Kamalapur at 10:40am instead of scheduled 8:25am.
Sundarban Express on the Dhaka-Khulna section was delayed by around one hour.
The major ferry ghats also saw no serious congestions on Friday.
Launches packed with passengers left the Sadarghat Launch Terminal for different southern districts.
Jam-packed launches increased the risks of accidents while the transport owners counted extra profits.
All the three inter-district bus terminals in the capital saw a moderate rush of home bound passengers on Friday morning.
But the rush multiplied from the mid-day.
The Sadarghat Launch Terminal saw huge rush of home bound travellers from Friday morning.
The New Nation Correspondent found at least 10 jam-packed launches waiting for more passengers just beside the office of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority.
The authorities' indifference helped launch owners not to provide life jackets, lifebuoys, lifeboats and fire-fighting equipment.
Highway police sources said the Eid holidaymakers will suffer less on the national highways this time if the weather remains favourable as they will get three holidays before Eid. Similarly, they expect hassle-free journeys by train and rivers also.
The sources said the homebound people are likely to face very thin gridlock on the Dhaka-Chittagong and Sylhet Highways as the three newly constructed bridges-Kanchpur, Meghna and Gumti- were opened to traffic.
However, they said the northern region and Khulna-bound passengers may experience tailbacks due to sudden rush of holidaymakers.

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