Dhaka,  Thursday
25 July 2024

Rush to villages for Eid leaves Dhaka desolate

M. Saiful Islam, Dhaka

Published: 07:36, 14 June 2024

Rush to villages for Eid leaves Dhaka desolate

Photo: Messenger

People are rushing to villages, leaving the capital for Eid-ul-Azha. Thursday marked the last working day for most government and private offices before the holiday. After finishing work, despite the immense heat and traffic jams, people crowded bus terminals, rail stations, and launch terminals throughout the day to reach their destinations. However, no hardship seemed to stand in the way of their desire to celebrate Eid with their loved ones.

The two Eids are the biggest religious festivals for Muslims. This year, Eid-ul-Azha will be celebrated on Monday, June 17, 2024. In other words, there are only two days left before Eid. According to the government holiday list, the Eid-ul-Azha holiday will start on Sunday, June 16, the day before Eid, and will continue until Tuesday, June 18. Additionally, Friday the 14th and Saturday the 15th are weekly holidays. Taking advantage of the government holiday schedule and additional leave, some have already sent their families to their village homes early.

Many have bought tickets to go home on the last working day. As a result, many left the office soon after formally registering their presence. Evidence of this was visible from the morning at various government and private offices, including the secretariat. Crowds of homebound people at rail, bus, and launch terminals increased from the morning, with the flow of people hitting the streets of the capital shortly after noon and continuing until late at night.

The stream of homebound people was quite visible in the Gulistan, Sayedabad, Mohakhali, Technical Mor in Mirpur, Kalyanpur, Shyamoli, Asadgate, Farmgate, and Karwan Bazar areas of the capital. The number of private vehicles and buses on the main roads decreased as time passed. The number of rickshaws on the alleyways also decreased. However, the pressure of passengers on the streets was higher in the afternoon and evening compared to the morning or noon.

The buses heading towards Sadarghat stop at Bahadur Shah Park. Since morning, people were seen going to the launch terminal to go to Chandpur and the southern regions. Some came to Bahadur Shah Park by CNG auto-rickshaws or buses and then took rickshaws to Sadarghat. The rickshaw pullers were charging a bit more fare than usual to go from Bahadur Shah Park to Sadarghat. The rickshaw pullers claimed that the extra Tk 10-20 they were charging was not extra fare but an 'Eid tip'.

On the other hand, since the opening of the Padma Bridge, various modes of transport have been operating from Fulbaria, Sayedabad-Jatrabari to different routes in the southwestern region. As a result, the pressure of passengers has increased at these terminals, while it has decreased at the Gabtoli bus terminal.

Meanwhile, the evening rain in the capital caused considerable suffering for passengers. Many passengers were seen trying to reach their desired destinations while getting drenched. In addition, the suffering increased due to the setting up of cattle markets by the roadside in some areas. Alongside, the crowds of buses carrying sacrificial animals on the entry points were quite noticeable. Mainly on Thursday, most people from the capital headed towards villages. Many will also leave for their village homes today. According to inquiries, traffic jams on the highways have decreased this year compared to previous years. As a result, passengers are able to return home quite smoothly.

Meanwhile, the government has taken various initiatives to ensure a smooth Eid journey. A high-level meeting was held at the Prime Minister's Office on Wednesday. Chaired by the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, Mohammad Tofazzel Hossain Miah, the meeting directed the concerned departments to take all necessary measures in coordination with each other to ensure a safe and smooth Eid journey on the roads.

The Inspector General of Police was instructed to identify hotspots, ensure the presence of police and responsible personnel from concerned departments at those hotspots, and ensure necessary coordination to ensure a traffic-free Eid journey.

Additionally, the issue of ensuring smooth traffic flow was linked to the establishment of cattle markets by the roadside or elsewhere, and the importance of inter-departmental coordination was emphasised in granting permission for setting up such markets.

The railways secretary informed the meeting about the plans and programmes taken regarding rail travel, ticket availability, and maintaining schedules during Eid. Instructions were given to take utmost precautionary measures to prevent any kind of suffering, harassment, or deception in obtaining rail tickets.

Furthermore, considering the monsoon season, the senior secretary of the Ministry of Shipping informed the meeting about the measures taken for the sea journey of people going home and returning during Eid. Instructions were given not to carry excess passengers on vessels and ensure the fitness of the vessels.

Besides, Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) has intensified patrols to ensure security in the empty Dhaka. Additionally, DMP has called for taking several extra precautionary steps during the Eid period.