Ahsanullah, a service holder in Dhaka, was rushing in Sadarghat launch terminal, carrying a small red bicycle, amid torrential rain. He was heading to his home in Shariatpur district and the bike was an Eid gift for his seven-year-old boy.
Although his son had asked for the bicycle months ago, Ahsanullah could not manage to go home during Eid-ul-Fitr. The red bike was the first thing he bought after getting his salary, so that his son can have a memorable holiday.
Ahsanullah is among the thousands of holidaymakers walking from Gulistan to Sadarghat with bags full of gifts for their near and dear ones, as the roads and highways leading to Sadarghat launch terminal are heavily congested, taking hours to cross.
Launches began departing the docks from 6:30am on Thursday morning. A total of 67 launches left Sadarghat terminal to different destinations. Due to downpour throughout the day, launches that left the terminal before afternoon were less crowded.
As the rain subsided in the afternoon, thousands of people began arriving at the launch terminal.
“We are hoping to send everyone home as 50 more launches are expected to leave the terminal tonight. We are trying our best to ensure a safe journey to everyone,” Joint Secretary of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) Alamgir Kabir told The Business Standard.
Police and Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) personnel have been deployed at the terminal to avert any untoward incident.
Hundreds of motorbikes were seen outside the terminal, as their owners were informed by the authorities concerned that their rides will not be allowed on launches.
Many passengers were seen desperately requesting to bring their motorbikes on board the launches, as their family members were already on board.