Railways Minister Md Nurul Islam Sujan has said only those who have purchased their tickets online for the Eid journey will be able to travel by train this year during the Eid-ul-Azha holidays.
"To reduce the risk of Covid-19, no additional passengers will be able to get on trains this time," he said in an online interview with UNB.
This year, Bangladesh Railway authority took an initiative to sell all of its tickets online through their mobile app and website. The minister said this timely initiative is for avoiding the huge crowds.
"Every year we used to sell some tickets online and the rest at the counter drawing a huge crowd there. To control this, we have sold all the train tickets online, so that there is no crowd at the counter of any station," he said, reiterating that it is all for a safe journey.
"There is a possibility of spreading coronavirus during the Eid journey. That is why we have set up access control at Kamalapur and Airport railway stations to ensure the safety of the passengers," he added.
The minister noted that hand sanitizing stations have been set up at the railway stations and trains are being disinfected as well. "Alongside these activities, we have decided to carry half the passengers on the train."
He elaborated on the benefits of selling all tickets virtually. "The passengers will purchase tickets through the mobile app. As a result, there is no opportunity for anyone to go on the train except the passengers and we are not allowing anyone at the station if no one has a ticket," he said.
There will be no stoppages for the trains leaving Dhaka at the Airport, Joydebpur, and Narsingdi stations to get rid of unwanted passengers.
The Railways Minister told UNB that the government plans to expand the use of trains in delivering products.
"Air-conditioned refrigerator wagons are coming from abroad for delivering fish, meat, milk and other perishable food items to different parts of the country," he said.