All the offices were closed on Thursday, but there was no crowd of Eid holidaymakers at the bus and railway stations in Dhaka city on Friday.
However, the pressure of homebound passengers was noticeable at the Shimulia and Paturia ferry terminals and huge at the Sadarghat Launch Terminal.
There was a little pressure on local buses plying on the Gabtali-Saidabad route as many passengers chose to leave the city by a mixed mode of transport, with several intervals on their way to home. A large number of homebound passengers also travelled by motorcycles.
No seats were vacant in the long-distance buses from 28 April to 1 May, but still the transport workers were surprised over the absence of a crowd as they usually handle a huge rush of passengers during the Eid holidays.
Sujit Saha, counter master of SR Travels in Gabtali told The Business Standard, "We have counters in different places across Dhaka. People are getting aboard from the counters near their homes. So, there is no crowd in Gabtali."
Besides, many people were travelling by a mixed mode of transportation with intervals at several points on their way to home as they knew that there were no tickets for direct buses available at the terminals, he added.
Local buses full of passengers were seen leaving the Gabtali area for Paturia ferry terminal proved the point Sujit was trying to make.
Many passengers alleged that the local buses were overcharging them due to increased pressure.
Many local buses were charging Tk200-300 per person, but when a mobile court of the Consumer Rights Department reached Gabtali arrived at the Gabtali area, the buses promptly brought their fares down to Tk150. The magistrates fined a number of buses Tk1,000 for overcharging the passengers during the drive.
Apart from this, several buses including those of Ilish, VIP, Pracheshta, Great Bikrampur transportation company have been accused of charging Tk200 from Gulistan to Mawa, even though the actual fare is Tk80.
On the other hand, due to heavy traffic on the roads, congestion was created on various roads, including the ones leading to the ferry terminals.
The pressure of motorcycles also contributed to the traffic jam and a long queue was formed on the eastern side of Bangabandhu Bridge.
There was also a rush of motorcycles near the Shimulia ghat area in Munshiganj. A ferry there was filled only with motorcycles at around noon. Sources at the ferry terminal said about 1,000 motorcycles got on a ferry.
There was also a 20-km-long traffic jam on Dhaka-Sirajganj Road till Friday noon.
Aside from Shimulia ghat, Paturia ghat in Manikganj also witnessed a heavy pressure of homebound people and vehicles as thousands of people started arriving at the terminal on Friday morning.
In both terminals there was a huge crowd of passengers on the ferry as well as on the speedboats and launches.
According to sources at the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation, 9,000 vehicles crossed through the Paturia-Daulatdia route in 24 hours, while about 3,000 vehicles cross in normal times.
Sources said there were over 100 buses and 200 freight trucks waiting at Paturia ghat and over 500 vehicles were waiting at Shimulia Ghat till 12pm Friday.
Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader, who visited Gabtali bus terminal on 29 April, has said the roads and highways across the country are in a much better condition this year as compared to the past.
He asked the transport owners and labour leaders not to overcharge the homebound people on Eid and directed the officials concerned to pay strict attention so that the passengers do not suffer in any way.
Meanwhile, State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury visited Shimulia ghat and instructed the officials concerned not to prioritise any VIP over the general passengers who were waiting in line for crossing the river.
He also advised the passengers and motorists to use the Daulatdia-Paturia route as an alternative to avoid pressure at Shimulia ghat.
The Kamalapur Railway Station was also not very crowded on Friday as the trains left station on time.
There was a little rush of passengers at the station in the morning, but that disappeared as soon as the trains carrying homebound passengers left on time. Around 12pm, the situation at Kamalapur station returned to normal.
However, the Sundarban Express and Nilsagar Express were delayed by about 45 minutes to reach the station.
Md Aminul Haque, station master in charge of Kamalapur Railway Station, said, "The trains are delayed as they travel a very long distance. Besides, extra time was spent on intervals on the route. We are trying to figure out how to reduce that time."
He further said, "The Nilsagar Express was two hours late on Thursday. Today, we managed to bring down the delay time to an hour."
Although the pressure of passengers was not very high in the morning, the crowd started increasing in the afternoon at Sadarghat Launch Terminal in the capital, and by the evening the authorities were struggling to control the crowd.
A mobile court fined two launches for carrying passengers more than their capacity.