Eid holidaymakers on Friday suffered long delays at Kamalapur Railway Station, owing to a collapse in train schedules.
Hundreds of homebound passengers had to wait for hours to board trains to their respective destinations as every train was operating three-four hours behind schedule.
During a visit to the Kamalapur Railway Station in the morning, this correspondent found a big crowd waiting on platforms for trains.
Many others were thronging counters for standing tickets. Sales of advance tickets ended seven days ago on August 2.
The Khulna-bound Sundarban Express, which was scheduled to leave the station at 6:10am, was still waiting at 9:30am.
It was the same with the Chilahati-bound Nilsagar Express, which was still waiting at noon although its departure time was 8am.
Because of excessive pressure of holidaymakers ahead of Eid, all the trains were departing late.
“Ahead of Eid-ul-Adha, the number of passengers goes up two or three times more than usual. So, trains need more time to take them to their destinations,” a senior official of Railway security force told The Business Standard, seeking anonymity.
Also, there are too many stoppages for a single train. So, it cannot reach its destination within the scheduled time, leading to a collapse in the schedule, he added.
Another big reason for delay is that trains cannot run at their normal speed with the extra load of passengers, the official said.
Many risk life riding on train rooftops
The moment a train reached the station, all rushed to get on it. Finding no place inside the carriages, many climbed on its rooftop, risking life.
“As I do not have a ticket, I have to make a choice. For me, going home is more important now,” said Robiul Islam, who rode on the rooftop of Chattogram-bound Mahanagar Provati.
Railway security officials were seen trying hard to prevent passengers from riding on train rooftops.
Female, elderly passengers struggle to get on trains
Female and elderly passengers, in particular, were seen struggling to get on trains due to a big rush of homebound people.
Many of them failed to board trains as the pressure of passengers in most trains was immense.
Rozina Begum, 35, who tried several times to board the Sundarban Express, at last gave in, finding no room to enter inside – even the doors of all the carriages were jam-packed.
“I bought a standing ticket at Tk400 and it is non-refundable, it is all losses for me,” she said.
Like Rozina, many others could not make room on trains in spite of having tickets.