The journey of the holidaymakers began in full scale in the wee hours of Friday as more and more people leave the capital with just a few days left ahead of Eid.
Passengers travelling to Chattogram division experienced a hassle-free journey while north Bengal-bound passengers suffered gridlocks at various points on the Dhaka-Tangail highway leading up to the Bangabandhu Bridge.
Besides, passengers of Khulna Division also faced tailbacks at Mawa and Paturia ferry ghats due to excessive outbound traffic and inadequate vessels.
Tariqur Rahman Khan, a private employee, started his journey towards Kalkini upazila of Madaripur at 5:30am on Friday.
Accompanied by his wife and child, he rented a microbus from Mohanagar project in Rampura area of the capital for Mawa ferry ghat. After reaching Mawa, the family boarded a launch to cross the Padma River and then took another bus to reach Kalkini. It took them around six hours to reach their destination.
"The journey was quite smooth as public influx was in a tolerable range. However, those who had to board ferries have different experiences, as long tailbacks were seen at Mawa ferry ghat," he added.
Md Imran Hossain Molla, assistant commissioner of (Traffic-Demra Zone) Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP), told TBS that light to moderate traffic was observed on the Dhaka-Chattogram highway on Friday morning.
"The pressure on the highway is expected to increase after Jummah prayers as more and more home-goers are leaving Dhaka," he said.
"On Thursday night, a large chunk of Dhaka dwellers left the city after having Sehri, hoping to avoid gridlocks. Our goal is to ensure zero traffic congestion to Eid holidaymakers," he said.
Police personnel are also monitoring ticket prices, excessive passenger transport and use of safety gears such as helmets by motorcyclists, he added.
Amrita Sutradhar, assistant superintendent of police (ASP) of Narayanganj Highway Circle, Gazipur Region, said, "Some 670 highway policemen and 100 members of Armed Police Battalion have been deployed in the entire Gazipur region, covering a portion of the Dhaka-Chattogram, Dhaka-Mawa and Dhaka-Sylhet highways.
There is no pressure of vehicles on the Dhaka-Chattogram highway, he said, adding that a motorcycle influx from the capital has doubled since Friday morning. The presence of smaller vehicles was, however, considerably low.
Meanwhile, sporadic traffic congestions were reported on the Dhaka-Sirajganj highway on Friday morning, causing woes to many home-bound people.
From Friday morning, sluggish vehicle movements were observed on the road from the west roundabout at Bangabandhu Bridge to Hatikumrul.
Despite extending lanes and ramping up toll collection at Bangabandhu Bridge, North Bengal-bound home-goers also faced an unexpected gridlock in front of the toll plaza early on Friday.
Monir Hossain, a bus passenger, said, "Beyond Tangail's Elenga, tailbacks have been created at various points up to Hatikumrul roundabout, with passengers stranded for hours."
While visiting Gabtoli bus terminal on Friday morning, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader said, "We have solved the problem that north Bengal-bound passengers had been facing for years in Sirajganj's Nalka area by building a bridge there. So, I don't think there will be any crisis."
On the Dhaka-Tangail highway, heavy traffic was seen at the Chandra intersection area of Kaliakair upazila in Gazipur on Friday morning but there was no gridlock, he said.
"I don't think there will be any congestion in Gazipur this time around as we have opened three new flyovers recently. The road condition is better now than at any time in the past," Quader added.
At Gabtoli bus terminal, some counters were charging double fares from passengers. Selfie Paribahan was charging Tk300 for a ticket previously sold at Tk150.
The Paribahan claimed it had to pay on-duty policemen Tk1,000 per bus leaving the terminal. When asked about this, Quader said, "One or two such incidents might have happened. But our people are in charge now and we will definitely see if something like this happens again."
State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury said, "With two days left before Eid, passenger density on the roads will rise from Friday afternoon. Garments are still running and will be closed as per the decision of BGMEA."
"I am requesting the holidaymakers to avoid Shimulia ferry ghat and use Paturia ghat to cross the Padma River. We have taken extensive preparations at Paturia Ghat to accomodate heavy vehicles but there are limited preparations at Shimulia Ghat for only light vehicles," he told reporters while inspecting the Shimulia ghat area in Louhajang upazila of Munshiganj on Friday noon.
There were some allegations of mismanagement at the ferry ghat as some vehicles reportedly jumped the queue to board ferries quickly.
When asked, the state minister said, "It was a baseless allegation raised by those who have been waiting in line for ferries. A former minister crossed the waterway and he also had to wait in the queue for two hours."