Dhaka:: Manikgonj::Additional report by Ripon Ansari::
Lockdown, Covid-19 infections risk, and strict enforcement of law – nothing could stop home-goers from leaving Dhaka for their hometowns on Tuesday.
Over the last one week, the country witnessed people’s frantic journey home ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr, which continued on Tuesday.
But it was not a smooth start of the journey for them.Many leaving the capital were subjected to suffering.They also had to pay fares three to four times higher than the regular amount.
“I am going to Feniand paid Tk1,200. The fare was only Tk270 earlier.It is really shocking,” said Shikha, a student of Siddheswari College.
Riad Chowdhury, who works at an IT firm, said, “The regular fare from Dhaka to Habiganjis Tk350. But a motorbike rider demands Tk4,000 while a microbus driver demands Tk1,500 per passenger.”
The government should allow long-haul buses to run to alleviate people’s suffering, he added.
Besides, home-goers had to change transports several times to reach their destinations.
While waiting for a bus at Gabtoli terminal, Runu Sutra Dhar, who came to Dhaka from Tangail to face an interview, said, “To return to my hometown, I have to go to Kaliakairfirst and then take another bus to Tangail.”
This will consume extra time and money, she added.
Homebound people said it was more important for them to celebrate Eid with their families even if they had to suffer during the journey.
“I have not visited home for a year. So it is urgent for me to go. I am aware of the coronavirus risk and will maintain all kinds of health guidelines during the journey,” said ForhadHossen, who works at Food Panda.
Another person named Imran said, “I did not want to go home. But now I am going as my family urged me to be there.”
“I am going home to celebrate Eid with my aged parents.It will be a chance to meet my three siblings as well,” said LaboniKhatun, a housewife.
On Tuesday, there were fewer microbuses and cars in most of the areas in Dhaka, including Sayedabad, Jatrabari, ShanirAkhra, and Gabtoli, compared to the previous days.
“Police have taken a hard line today. We cannot dodge them to carry passengers to their destinations. They will detain us if they find that we are carrying passengers,” said driver Akbar Mia, who was sitting idle at Syedabadbus terminal.
A large number of people also flocked the Shimulia and Paturiaferry terminals like the previous days since morning.