Dhaka, June 05: Out of their serious fear of traffic nightmare on highways, hundreds of people thronged Kamalapur Railway Station and endured immense sufferings for hours together on Tuesday to collect advance train tickets for going to their village homes on the occasion of Eid-ul Fitr.Though the authorities were scheduled to start selling tickets at 8am, several thousand people started queuing up in front of 26 counters of the railway station since Monday night and passed sleepless night to get tickets scheduled for June 14, the last working day before the eid vacation.
Alongside men, huge female ticket seekers were also seen before the two counters reserved for them at the station.
The crowd of people before the ticket counters for Chattogram region was relatively longer than that of others as the ticket seekers think passengers will have to pass terrible time to cross three bridges on Dhaka-Chattogram highway during their journey before the eid with the sharp rise in traffic flow.
The station authorities said the presence of people for the advance ticket for June 14 is unusual and it seems four-five time higher than the number of ticket they have in their hands to sell.
Kamal Hossain is one of them who heaved a sigh of relief collecting four tickets for his family members after waiting for nearly 11 hours at the railway station.
“I came to the station at 1am (Monday night) and got the ticket just now 12 (noon). I suffered a lot amid warm weather and tussle of people. But my wife and my two kids will be able to go to our native home in Chattogram comfortably avoiding torturous time on the highway. So, after getting the ticket I’ve forgotten all my pain,” he told UNB.
Abdur Rahim, a Dhaka College student, is less fortunate than Kamal as he stood in the line around 12am on Monday but was still on the queue around 12:20pm on Tuesday to get tickets for his family members to go to Jamalpur.
“I expect I’ll finally get the tickets within an hour. I’m desperate to secure the train tickets as my sick mom will have to go through even more harsher sufferings on the highway to go home for eid celebration if I fail,” he added.
Nusrat, an Eden College student, said she along with her three female friends went to the station with a preparation to pass the night there so that they can ensure the train tickets. They also brought food with them and had their sehri there like many other men and women.
“We’re lucky that we got the tickets two hours after the counters were opened for selling the tickets. “Now we’ve no tension to go home in Rajshahi,” she said wearing a smile.
Nusrat also said many women alongside several thousand men stayed at the station since Monday night while a good number of female ticket seekers came early in the morning to secure tickets to go home.
Talking to UNB, station manager Sitangshu Chakrawarty said the railway station is overcrowded today with the ticket seekers’ mad rush to ensure their train journey on June 15.
“But we can give only 27,461 tickets for June 14 today. I fear many people will have to go back without ticket as our capacity is limited,” he said.
Sitangshu said 66 trains will go to different directions across the country each day ahead of eid.
Besides, he said, they will operate seven special trains for the holidaymakers.
The station manager also said the 65 percent of the tickets are being sold at 26 counters, including two for women, while 25 percent online and five percent each are reserved for VIPs and railway employees.
Bangladesh Railway authorities started selling advance train tickets on Friday on the occasion of eid.
Tomorrow is the last day for the selling the eid advance ticket of the railway as people will be able to buy ticket for June 15 journey on the day.
Each passenger is allowed to buy maximum four tickets.
Besides, the return tickets for the journey of June 19 will be available on June 10 and that for June 20 on June 11, for June 21 on June 12, for June 22 on June 13 and for June 23 on June 14 and for June 24 on June 15.
The Eid-ul-Fitr, the largest religious festival of Muslims, is expected to be celebrated on June 16 next, depending on moon sighting.
Over six million people are expected to leave the capital by trains, buses, and water vessels for their respective village homes to celebrate the Eid holidays with their near and dear ones.