Long delays disrupt Eid journey

Shahin Akhter and Rashad Ahamad | Published: 14:35, Jun 02,2019 | Updated: 02:16, Jun 03,2019


Eid holidaymakers wait in the capital’s Sadarghat Launch Terminal as launch services remain suspended due to inclement weather on Sunday. — Abdullah Apu

Severe disruptions in train services following a derailment and temporary disruption in ferry and launch services amid inclement weather made journeys of Eid holidaymakers difficult on Sunday.

At the same time, long route bus passengers on the day continued to complain against charging of extra transport fares.

Some of the major intercity trains were delayed by several hours following derailment of an engine of a passenger train at Habiganj which snapped rail communications between Sylhet and the rest of the country.

Stormy weather and rainfall in different districts halted movement of all vessels and ferries at the capital, Barishal and on Paturia-Daulatdia and Shimulia-Kawrakandi routes in the morning.

Long queues of vehicles were seen at Paturia ferry ghat area in the afternoon intensifying the woes of the Eid-time passengers of 21 south and south-western districts of the country.

People at Gabtoli and Mohakhali inter-district bus terminals in the capital complained that the long route bus operators charged extra from them.

The highways were free from traffic gridlock.

On Sunday around 9:50am the engine of Kushiara Express on Akhaura-Sylhet route derailed at Rashidpur area in Habiganj, snapping rail communication between Sylhet and Chattogram and Dhaka.

Around 3:30pm train movement resumed on the route after a relief train from Akhaura put the locomotive engine back on the rails, said Shayestaganj Railway Police outpost in-charge Shafiqul Islam Khan.

The locomotive went off the rails probably because of heavy rainfall, he said.

Following the incident Joyantika Express on Sylhet-Dhaka was delayed by 5:35 hours, Parabat Express on Dhaka-Sylhet was delayed by 5:30 hours and Paharika Express on Chattogram-Sylhet was delayed by three hours.

Passengers suffered immensely during these hours while the trains remained stuck at different stations.

Additionally, during departure from Kamalapur railway station, Nilsagar Express on Dhaka-Chitahati was delayed by 4 and a half hours, Dhumketu Express on Dhaka-Rajshahi was delayed by 3 hours and 18 minutes and Sundarban Express on Dhaka-Khulna was delayed by 1 hour and 40 minutes.

These trains were running behind schedules since Friday and failed to follow the timetables till Sunday.

In the morning all launch movement from Sadarghat Launch Terminal remained suspended for about an hour.

New Age correspondent in Manikganj reported that the launch and ferry services on Paturia-Daulatdia water route was suspended for more than two hours for the rough weather that lashed the area in the morning.

Following the ferry service delay in the morning more than 250 cars and microbuses were seen queued up in a line and 150 buses were seen forming another long queue at Paturia ghat area around 3:30pm.

Passengers and drivers of the stranded vehicles said that it took more than one hour to reach the ferry ghat.

Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation assistant general manager (commercial) at Paturia Ghat office Jillur Rahman said that the situation at the ghat was normal after morning.

New Age correspondent in Munshiganj reported that following inclement weather ferry and other vessel services on Shimulia-Kawrakandi water route was suspended for more than two hours in the morning.

After 12:30pm vessel and ferry movement on the route became normal, said Lauhajang upazila nirbahi officer Muhammad Kabirul Islam Khan.

State minister for shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury, during a visit at Shimulia ferry terminal, said that till now journeys of holidaymakers was smooth.

Holidaymakers at Gabtoli and Mohakhali inter-district bus terminals on Sunday complained that different counterpersons were charging extra on most destinations including Rongpur, Rajshahi, Tangail and Mymensingh.

Amina Begum, a staff of a clinic at Postagola complained that she had to collect two tickets to go to Gopalpur in Tangail by Tk 400 for each ticket although the regular fare was Tk 250.

Holidaymaker Abu Zafor complained for mismanagement as he had to wait for an hour at the counter for a ticket.

Mymensingh-bound Ena bus service driver Alamgir Hossain said that the Dhaka-Mymensingh highway was free from traffic gridlock.

Some of the travellers on Dhaka-Tangail highway said that they faced traffic congestion at Gabtoli, Savar and Baipail areas due to illegal parking on the highway.

New Age correspondent in Bogura reported that long route bus movement from Bogura to Dhaka became normal on Saturday night after Bogura Motor Sramik Union closed all bus counters and buses on the route protesting payment of fines by some companies after they were found charging extra for the journeys on the same day.

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