• Thursday, Feb 02, 2023
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

Highways packed as people rush home the day before Eid

  • Published at 09:15 am July 20th, 2021
Highways gridlocked
A long tailback of 25km forms on the Tangail side of Bangabandhu Bridge due to a mad rush of homeward-bound people on Tuesday, July 20, 2021 Dhaka Tribune

Lack of public transport amid the pandemic forced many passengers to hire microbuses, CNG autorickshaws and even pick-up trucks

Commuters heading home ahead of Eid-ul-Azha have been experiencing heavy traffic on the Dhaka-Tangail, Dhaka-Mymensingh and Dhaka-Chittagong highways since early Tuesday morning. 

A long tailback of 25km was witnessed on the Tangail side of the Bangabandhu bridge due to a mad rush of homeward-bound people as well as vehicles carrying sacrificial animals, amid the devastating surge in Covid-19 deaths and infections.

In the last 24 hours till Tuesday morning, 48,424 vehicles have crossed the bridge for which a toll of more than Tk2.86 crore was collected.

Due to lack of public transport, passengers rent a pickup truck to go home for Eid on Tuesday, July 20, 2021 Dhaka Tribune

Meanwhile, the closure of several garment factories for Eid contributed to the mad rush while the potholed stretches of the Dhaka-Mymensingh highway owing to the under-construction Bus Rapid Transit project made the situation worse.

Moreover, lack of public transport vehicles like buses and launches forced many to hire microbuses, CNG autorickshaws and even pick-up trucks to reach their destination. Overcrowding of passengers was also noticed at different railway stations in Gazipur.

Homeward-bound people overcrowd a train in Gazipur on Tuesday, July 20, 2021 | Dhaka TribuneShimulia ferry ghat in Munshiganj is also witnessing a massive rush of home-bound people. Since Tuesday morning, 64 launches have been operating on the Mawa-Banglabazar and Mawa-Majhikandi waterways. Meanwhile, 15 ferries are plying on the Shimulia-Banglabazar water route.

The fares have been doubled and the rain since morning has made the situation worse for the commuters.

Also Read - Thousands across Bangladesh celebrate Eid on Tuesday in line with Saudi Arabia

Heavy traffic was seen on the Dhaka-Chittagong highway as well. A reality check revealed that all Covid-safety protocols went for a toss as people barely followed social distancing norms, despite law enforcement agencies keeping a strict vigil on the roads.

Bangladesh on Monday saw 231 corona-related deaths, the highest since the pandemic hit the country, amid an eight-day pause in the nationwide strict lockdown.

Mad rush in Shimulia ferry ghat on Tuesday, July 20, 2021 | Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

The situation is likely to get worse because of the fallout from the lockdown pause ahead of Eid holidays, many experts believe.

With Covid's Delta variant spreading fast, Bangladesh has already tallied more than 1.1 million infections and 18,000-plus deaths from the pandemic. The country's fatalities have been hovering at roughly 200 for the past two weeks.Passengers wait for transport on Dhaka-Chittagong highway on Tuesday, July 20, 2021 | Dhaka Tribune

Also, Covid-19 infections in Bangladesh have reached 99% of the peak, with more than 11,828 new cases reported each day. The highest daily average was reported on July 15.

The country recorded 13,321 infections in 24 hours till Monday morning after testing 45,012 samples.

The recent surge in cases and deaths is threatening to overwhelm the country's health infrastructure.

So far, Bangladesh has administered at least 10,908,272 doses of Covid vaccines – enough to have vaccinated around 3.1% of the country's population, assuming every person needs two doses.

Additional reporting by Abdulah Al Numan, Tangail, Shamima Rita, Munshiganj, and Raihanul Islam Akand, Gazipur

Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail