Bus and railway stations as well as launch terminals in the capital witnessed a huge rush of home-goers on Friday as thousands of people set out for their village homes to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr with their near and dear ones.
City dwellers started leaving the city from Thursday afternoon as the day was the last office day before the Eid day.
Eid-ul-Fitr, one of the biggest religious festivals of the Muslims, will be celebrated in the country either on June 26 (Monday) or June 27 (Tuesday) subject to the sighting of the Shawal moon.
Large crowds were seen at all bus terminals, railway stations and Sadarghat launch terminal since dawn while the transport operators were struggling to cope with the rush of Eid passengers.
Many passengers were seen taking risky rides on rooftops of buses, trains and launches.
Transport operators said the mad rush of homebound passengers will continue till Saturday night.
Sources at the Kamalapur Railway Station said a total of 27 trains left the station for different destinations till 3pm as per the schedules.
Railways Minister M Mazibul Hoque visited the station to witness the overall condition of the Eid holidaymakers.
Talking to reporters at the station, he said all of the trains were leaving the station in time as the railway officials and employees have been discharging their duties properly.
"Special train services as well as new bogies are gifts for the people from the Prime Minister," he said.
When his attention was drawn to people's travelling on the train rooftops, the Railways Minister said, "Although it's illegal, we couldn't be tough enough to prevent them from travelling on the rooftops considering Eid."
Although most of the buses left Sayedabad bus terminal almost in time in the morning, the situation started to change after 10 am. Many buses could not maintain their schedules as return buses failed reach the terminal in time.
Sumon, a counter staff of Shyamoli Paribahan, told UNB that the return buses could not reach the bus terminal in time as those faced severe traffic jam in a number of points on Chittagong-Dhaka highway.
Similarly, most of the buses at Gabtoli bus terminals left for different northern and southern districts timely till 10am. Later, the number of both passengers and buses came down by 5 pm, said Assistant Commissioner of Darus Salam Zone traffic police Rawshonul Hoque Saikat.
He said the rush of passengers will be increased again from late evening. "I think enough return buses will reach the bus terminals in the meantime to carry the home-bound passengers," he said.
In Sadarghat launch terminal, all of the launches left the terminal in time.
Meanwhile, tailbacks were created on several highways across the country on Friday, inflicting immense sufferings on the Eid holidaymakers.
Commuters travelling through Dhaka-Chittagong highway saw a 13-km tailback from Meghna Bridge to Gomti Bridge in Gazaria upazila of Munshiganj.
Officer-in-charge of Gazaria Police Station M Hedayat Islam Bhuiyan said the highway narrows down to two lanes from four lanes at the mouths of the two bridges. "As a result vehicles have to cross the Meghna Bridge and Gomti Bridge in two lanes that lead to tailbacks on the both sides," he said.
In Sirajganj, a 21-km tailback was created from the west side of Bangabandhu Bridge to Hatikumrul as hundreds of vehicles were heading towards the northern districts with holidaymakers on board.
In Gazipur, traffic on different parts of the district were moving slowly due to heavy rush of transports on Dhaka-Tangail and Dhaka-Mymensingh highways.
Highway police sources said long queues of vehicles were seen at different points of Chandra, Kaliakoir and Kharajora areas on Dhaka-Tangail highway since Friday morning due to heavy pressure of vehicles, causing tailbacks at Chandra and Kaliakoir points of the district.
Besides, vehicles on Dhaka-Mymensingh highway were moving at a snail's pace at Chandana intersection.
In Munshiganj, some 700 vehicles were seen waiting at Shimulia Ferry Ghat to cross the Padma River, creating a traffic gridlock.