Train passengers' sufferings mounted on Saturday following a terrible schedule disruption between Dhaka and other destinations as hundreds of people got stranded at Kamalapur and other railway stations amid the countrywide 20-party opposition’s blockade program.
An official at the railway information center told that some trains scheduled to arrive Friday night could not make it while those are scheduled to leave Saturday morning are delayed for an 'indefinite time'.
"Mahanagar Provati was scheduled to leave at 7:40am but the train is yet to arrive here," he said adding that the train is crossing Comilla station right now (8:30am).
Another official at the station said this is unlikely to depart before 12:30pm. However, the train departed from the Kamalapur railway station at 3:30pm.
The helpless passengers were seen keeping their eyes on the screen to check their train schedule frequently.
Asked, an on duty railway official said, "You all know the reason behind the delay."
A Comilla-bound passenger said, "It's frustrating for me. I’m really in extreme trouble with my three-year-old girl and my wife." The waiting passenger came from London just a couple of days back also said he did not have any option but to wait with uncertainty.
Sarwar Sumon, a former student of Rajshahi University, was waiting at the station along with a good number of his friends.
“We’ll go to our University to attend convocation. Our train, Padma Express, scheduled to leave Dhaka at 11:10pm, Friday, was rescheduled for 1:30pm Saturday,” he said. However, the train departed after 3:30pm.
Sumon also said two additional compartments were linked on request for ensuring smooth travel for the university students. “It seems to be meaningless…the long wait has robbed of their smiles.”
Station Manager Sitangshu Chakraborty said they are trying their best to normalize the train schedule.
Responding to a question, he said the delay is because of security measures and reduced pace of the trains. "We're calling it as delay what you see as schedule disruption. It's improving gradually. We hope to be back on track after Biswa Ijtema."
The country’s fastest train - Subarna Express - even cannot maintain its schedule.
The Station Manager also said short distance train like Dhaka-Narayanganj, Dhaka-Mymensing and Dhaka - Kishoreganj are leaving Dhaka station timely.
He said they are giving priority to passenger safety, and trains are moving slowly to avert any unwanted incident. “We’re happy as the passengers are reaching their destinations safely….that’s enough for us.”
The official also claimed that no train is cancelled so far mentioning that they are using every possible way to let passengers know about the possible delay.