17 people were killed and 25 others injured in separate road accidents in Sirajganj, Sunamganj and Natore
Zahid Hossain Biplob: People continue to streaming out of the capital yesterday to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr amid shortage of transports, late schedule of trains and excessive fares of tickets.
Launch operators besides, are cashing in on the huge rush of passengers and overloading their vessels on different routes in Southern districts, risking lives of thousands ahead of Eid fest. Risky and illegal roof top journey on trains, trucks, pick-up vans also continues while the launches are overloaded also.
This year peoples of northern district routes are mainly suffering both on roads and trains.
At least 17 people were killed and 25 others injured in separate road accidents in Sirajganj, Sunamganj and Natore districts yesterday.
Bangladesh Railway officials said trains were running behind schedule as passengers were taking time to get on and off the trains.
Huge people are also travelling on train roofs, the official admitted.
The authorities concerned are turning a blind eye to the nuisance according to reports, though the government has repeatedly announced of taking stern actions against overloading.
In the past, many launches sank due mainly to overloading. Even passenger vessel Pinak-6 sank in the turbulent Padma on August 4, 2014 while carrying more than 200 people against its capacity of 85. Forty-eight bodies were recovered and 62 were missing in that disaster.
During a visit to the Sadarghat launch terminal yesterday it was seen that most of the launches were carrying passengers more than double of their capacity.
This correspondent randomly selected some launches at the terminal, checked their capacity and counted the passengers on board.
Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) officials have said that as vacations for most of the apparel workers will start from Monday they would have to face huge pressure on launches.
On the third day of the nine-day Eid holiday, holidaymakers yesterday also enjoyed almost hassle-free journeys as no major traffic gridlock was reported.
Although there was a huge rush of vehicles, the authorities concerned smoothly managed the ferry services on the Mawa and Paturia ghats, according to BIWTC sources.
But the scenario may start change after evening today with an increasing numbers of vehicles will ply the highways as the huge number of apparel workers will start for home, said a transport owner while talking to Daily Industry.
Highway police officials while contacted said that they have made special arrangements to keep the country’s three key highways — Dhaka-Chattagram, Dhaka-Mymensingh and Dhaka-Tangail — gridlock-free round the clock during the Eid festival.
The law-enforcers are focusing on intersections like Chandra, Kanchpur, Mawna, Aminbazar, Savar, Goalanda and Bhulta to avert traffic congestion, he said.
“We’ve also suspended the leave of our officials for ensuring strong monitoring on the highways,” he added.
He said measures have also been taken at ferry-ghats and toll plazas on the country’s key bridges for smooth movement of passenger buses.