Bangladesh Railway has resumed the sale of advance train tickets after a month as lockdown restrictions imposed to fight a spike in COVID cases were eased.
The sale of advance tickets kicked off at 8 am on Monday. Passengers were standing in separate queues at Kamalapur Railway Station to buy tickets for different routes, reports bdnews24.com.
“We couldn’t get tickets through the railway app. That’s why I came here early this morning from Malibagh. But I still haven’t reached the ticket counter. I need four tickets,” said Hasan Uddin, who needs to travel to Chattogram.
Half of the tickets for inter-city trains are being sold online and through mobile apps, while the rest are available at the ticket counter, said railway officials.
A separate queue has been arranged for women.
“I live in the Motijheel colony. I want to travel to my hometown with my children. I came here to buy the tickets as I doubted I would be able to buy them online. Now I have the tickets,” said Farida Akhter, who is headed to Mymensingh.
Railway Police have been asking everyone to follow health protocols, especially to wear masks.
Queues were longer for buying tickets for air-conditioned and first-class compartments.
Trains will start running from Kamalapur Railway Station on Aug 11, authorities said. A total of 38 pairs of inter-city trains and 20 pairs of mail trains and commuter trains will be running. Like other forms of mass transport, the railway will only be able to sell tickets up to capacity.
Rail service was halted on Jul 1 when the government imposed a strict lockdown in a bid to curb the spread of coronavirus infection across Bangladesh. It resumed for a week on Jul 15 as the restrictions were relaxed for Eid-ul-Azha. Rail service stopped again on Jul 23 when the strict lockdown was re-imposed.
The strict lockdown, which has lasted 19 days, is to end on Tuesday.