Rush of people leaving the capital for outlying districts by roads, waterways and trains peaked on Thursday, the last working day before three-day Eid vacation beginning today.
At least two people were killed after falling from moving train roof in Gazipur and another lost his leg while trying to get on another running train in Dhaka as many of them were making journeys ignoring safety issues.
Charging of extra fares from bus passengers, illegal roof-top journey on train, trucks and pick-up vans and late schedule of trains also disrupted journeys of Eid-time travellers.
Traffic on Dhaka-Tangail-Bangabandhu Bridge and Dhaka-Chittagong highways was almost normal on the day while people
comfortably crossed the major ferry routes.
Amid frenzy of getting on homebound transports, two unidentified roof-top passengers died on the spot after they fell from Jamalpur Commuter train at Dhirasram in Gazipur around 6:00pm.
Dhaka railway police officer-in-charge Yeasin Faroque Mozumder told New Age that the train was passing Dhirasram area from Dhaka with its roof brimming with passengers.
The youths, who could not be identified immediately, fell from the roof after being hit by a light post and were crushed under the train.
One Sohel Zahid, 30, a resident of Sundarganj of Gaibandha, lost his leg while attempting to get on running Rajshahi-bound Rajshahi Express around 3:20pm at Airport railway station in Dhaka.
Airport railway police-in-charge and sub-inspector Md Nazrul Islam said Sohel slipped onto the track from the platform and his right leg got severed from under the knee.
He was rushed to Combined Military Hospital for treatment, he added.
Trains like Nilsagar Express on Dhaka-Nilphamari route left Kamalapur three hours behind the schedule, Ekota Express on Dhaka-Dinajpur was late by 1.30 hours and Sundarban Express on Dhaka-Khulna by one hour.
At Kamalapur rail station, police tried to stop people from rooftop journey but at airport station hundreds of people were seen to board train roof.
With the passing of the day, the number of passengers increased at Gabtoli, Mohakhali and Saidabad inter-district bus and Sadarghat launch terminals.
Many passengers alleged that operators at Gabtoli terminal of both inter-district and city services were charging extra fares — Tk 100 extra for per ticket on Dhaka-Khulna and Tk 200 extra for per ticket on Dhaka-Dinajpur routes and Tk 50 instead of Tk 10 on Gabtoli-Nabinagar route.
At Mohakhali bus terminal, Tk 50 extra was charged for per ticket on almost all routes, passengers alleged.
People, waiting at Chandra intersection in Gazipur, alleged that the operators were charging up to extra Tk 300 per ticket on northern districts’ routes.
New Age correspondent in Jessore reported that long-route bus operators on Jessore-Khulna, Jessore-Magura, Jessore-Benapole, Jessore-Narail and other routes charged double or more.
Paribahan Sangstha Shramik Samity president Mamunur Rashid Bachchu blamed the administration for this.
Abdul Awal, deputy commissioner, Jessore said they would take step after investigation.
Extra fare pushed many low income group people, including many apparel workers who got their salaries and bonus on the day, to opt for illegal and risky roof-top journey by buses, trucks and pick-up vans not only on highways but also on roads inside Dhaka city.
Passengers were seen to travel on bus roofs at Gabtoli terminal.
At Aminbazar bridge, many were seen waiting to get on trucks and pick-up vans.
‘I will go to Phulbari and price of each bus ticket is Tk 1,000 now, which I cannot afford,’ said Hasibur, an apparel worker.
Along with 20 to 30 others, Hasibur was persuading some truck drivers to take them for Tk 200 each. Finally they boarded four trucks waiting at the end of the bridge.
On-duty highway police members grabbed only one truck driver but did not take action against any other or stop any bus for irregularities.
People were also seen to travel by trucks on Dhaka-Tangail highway.
Ferry services on Paturia-Daulatdia and Shimulia-Kaorakandi water routes were normal throughout the day while passengers alleged extra fare charging by speed boats.
Sadarghat launch terminal saw huge pressure of passengers for southern districts. Almost all launches were seen overloaded with passengers.
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from Country