Sell-out of advance train ticket upsets dozens

BRTC tickets also on sale

FE Report | Published: August 11, 2018 10:17:47 | Updated: August 11, 2018 12:49:49

FE file photo used for representation

Hundreds of people had thronged the Kamalapur Railway Station in the capital since Thursday night to buy advance tickets for going home before Eid-ul-Azha.

Tickets for August 19 were sold on Friday.

Advance tickets are up for sale from August 8 and 12 for rail travel from August 16 to 21.

But on the third day, dozens of ticket aspirants had to return home empty-handed as before.

A handful of them claimed a fair chunk of tickets went to the syndicate of ticket touts and black marketeers.

A spot account of the scenes said many ticket seekers returned frustrated as the railway operators said the tickets were already sold out.

Things turned frantic as the people standing in queues were almost 10 times higher than the tickets on offer, officials said.

The Muslims' feast of sacrifice is likely to be celebrated on August 22.

Mominul Hasan Jibon, an assistant merchandiser of a garment buying house, told the FE that he had stood in the queue for tickets since Thursday night.

"My serial was 102. The ticket seller told me at 11:00 am that all the allotted tickets for Nilsagor Express (Dhaka-Nilphamari) were sold out," he said.

Aggrieved Atikul Islam, a banker, was in the queue for air-conditioned (AC) compartment tickets at the counter no-5 and his serial was 32 in the line.

"It was 10:30 am when my turn came and the ticketing manager said the AC tickets for August 18 of Mahanagar Provati and Mahanagar Godhuli sold out," he said.

Mr Islam said a group of shifty men were found distributing tokens for standing in the queues to collect tickets for even August 20 and 21.

He claimed they were a racket of black marketeers who always remain at the top of a queue and buy A/C tickets and resell the travel documents on profit.

Kamalapur station master Shitangshu Chakrabarty said a total of 25,000 tickets are being sold at counters.

Of them, 18,500 were for intercity trains.

The number of ticket aspirants was more than the seats available like in the yesteryears, he told the FE.

A railway official said as always the situation would be the same, as no notable change was seen in the rail communications system.

"Bangladesh Railway's passenger-carrying capacity remains unchanged against a steady rise in the demand for rail travel," he added.

The official underlined the need for upgrading and expanding the hugely popular mode of public transport.

"Ahead of Eid, around one million people will be able to travel by 46 trains, including 32 intercity and 14 mail trains, from Dhaka to different districts."

However, hundreds of people were seen standing in queues on Friday noon to book tickets for August 20.

This round of ticket sales begin this morning.

Tickets of BRTC buses for August 16 and 21, especially for long routes, were also put on sale from the day.

The 'Eid Special Service' is beginning from August 16.

It will continue for three days after Eid, BRTC officials said.

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