Ferry service closure cut the rush of homebound people to southern districts from Dhaka slightly on Sunday, but the swarm of people to other districts kept swelling.
People were leaving Dhaka in cars, microbuses, CNG-run auto-rickshaws, pick-up vans, trucks, and covert vans ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr.
The vehicles started their journeys from Gabtoli, Aminbazar, Abdullahpur, Tongi, Sayedabad, Jatrabari, Sonir Akra and many other points.
Between 12 noon and 1pm on Sunday, about 30 microbuses set out for Mawa from Jatrabari and Sayedabad, down from 50 in the last couple of days. The passengers were dropped about 2 kilometres from the terminal pier. They walked the distance and then waited for the evening ferries that transport goods across the river.
Drivers carrying passengers to Chattogram or northern districts took alternate routes to dodge fines or punishment by police.
The routes are shortcuts to the destinations, drivers said.
"There is a huge pressure of passengers and we are making as many trips as possible," said Shahid, a microbus driver.
"I have taken passengers to Chattogram and back again in a day. Each time, I had 12-14 passengers," said another microbus driver Md Sojol.
Passengers have to count two-three times the usual fare. A person has to pay Tk1,500 to go to Chattogram from Dhaka now while the usual fare of a non-AC bus is Tk500 per seat and Tk1,000-1,200 on an AC bus.
Another driver Bahar Mia said passengers going to Comilla were charged Tk500 each whereas the usual bus fare was Tk120-Tk250.
Desperate to spend Eid holidays with relatives, passengers did not bargain with the drivers.
"This is a moment of crisis with no other mode of transport to leave Dhaka. Considering that, the fare does not seem high to me," said Ashiq Khan, a garment scrap businessman, who was heading to Feni in a microbus.
"We know the driver has to manage several agencies amid the travel ban. They have to take an increased fare to meet the additional cost," said Monir Hossen, a passenger of Comilla.
People are gradually deserting the concrete city in whatever way possible, but neither do they follow health safety guidelines, nor maintain social distance.
Drivers of ride-sharing service providers, such as Pathao and Uber, said their trips within Dhaka halved in the last few days.