Although Durga Puja and Eid-ul-Azha vacations begin from Saturday, because of the weekend most people are already heading out of the city.
From Friday morning, Dhaka’s bus and launch terminals and railway stations swelled with crowds of home-goers. By afternoon most of the city’s main streets became empty.
Traffic moved at a snail’s pace all day on 60 kilometres of the road from Chandra to Bangabandhu bridge.
In some places trucks hauling sacrificial cattle broke down, creating terrible gridlock.
Standing in front of National Press Club, Shihab Ahmed, a native of Rangpur, said he had been looking for transport to go to Gabtoli bus terminal for over an hour.
Buses were leaving on schedule from Sayedabad but when they reached Gabtoli terminal across the city they got stuck there for four to six hours.
Alamgir Hossain, who is heading to Khulna, said his bus would depart after 12pm, although it was scheduled to leave at 7am.
At Sadarghat launch terminal and Kamalapur Railway Station, people had fewer complaints.
Afsana Siddiqui, who is headed for Patuakhali, said she came to Sadarghat early to avoid the hassle before boarding the vessel.
“Once I board, I’ll get home in time. So I don’t mind being here a little early,” she said.
Passengers complained about vessels picking up extra riders.
Railway said its trains were more or less keeping to the timetable. Passengers at the Kamalapur Railway Station had no complaints about train schedules.