His wait in a queue at Kamalapur Railway Station for purchasing advance Eid-ul-Azha train tickets began at 8 pm on Thursday – 12 hours before the rail authorities started selling tickets.
But by the time his turn came it was 12 pm on Friday and he came to know that all tickets were sold out for the day.
So, auto-rickshaw driver Md Bhutto, 52, who was looking for 5 July tickets of Nilsagar Express to go to his village home in Nilphamari, returned home at the capital's Jurain area and had lunch and came back to the station.
This time, Bhutto was confident of securing tickets for 6 July because he was in front of his fellow ticket seekers in the row. But on Friday night a brawl among ticket seekers pushed him after 70 people in the queue.
On Saturday morning at 8 am, advance Eid tickets again went on sale and Bhutto failed to secure tickets this time too.
In this way, 44 hours have gone past, his wait for tickets continues. "I have been waiting for two days to get tickets but I have yet to come by any," Bhutto told The Business Standard on Saturday afternoon over the phone.
"I am now in the queue for buying tickets tomorrow [Sunday]. This time I hope to get tickets as there are 15 people before me in the line," he added.
Like Bhutto, many home-bound people have been waiting hours after hours for Eid advance tickets at Kamalapur Railway Station. Many of them returned home empty-handed, many stayed back at the station for the next day and many managed alternative transports.
"Several hundred holidaymakers are now waiting overnight at the station in a hot condition. There is no opportunity to sleep here. Some are falling sick," Bhutto said.
Bangladesh Railway will continue to sell advance Eid tickets till Tuesday and return ticket sales will start on Thursday. Tickets for 6 July travel were sold on Saturday.
Some 26,713 tickets are being sold each day. Half of the tickets are available at ticket counters and the rest are online.
Tickets for 7, 8 and 9 July travels will be available on 3, 4 and 5 July respectively. Return tickets will be on sale from 7 July. The tickets for 11, 12 and 13 July will be sold on 7, 8 and 9 July while the advance tickets for 14 and 15 July will be available on 11 July.
Contacted, Railways Minister Nurul Islam Sujan told TBS, "The demand for tickets is far more than our capacity. Some 100 people come to the counters in proportion to one ticket."
Meanwhile, people waiting in queues complained about the slow sales of tickets at the counters.
Admitting the matter, a counterman said, "Sometimes it takes a little bit of time to check the NIDs of ticket seekers. But we try our best to do it fast."
Many people also complained that they could not buy tickets online despite attempting multiple times. So, they thronged the station to secure tickets.
Ticket-seeker Md Roni said, "I have tried to buy tickets online for the last two days. On the first day of the ticket sales, I could not access the server. Today all online tickets have been sold in only five minutes."
Another Eid holidaymaker Ruhul Amin said, "I have tried several times to access the server in the morning but failed. So, I came to Kamalapur station."
The railway minister said the ticket selling website receives 6 crore hits but they have only 13,000-14,000 tickets. "We cannot ensure tickets for all," he noted.
Farhat Ahmed, manager of Shohoz.com, railway's online ticket selling partner, said from 8 am to 6 pm on Saturday, their server received around 8 crore hits for tickets. The number was around 6 crore on Friday.
In the last Eid, there were 700 hits for a single seat and this time the demand is higher, he added.