Online Desk: Thousands of people thronged the two stations of Dhaka Metro Rail to ride electric trains for the first time as the metro rail service opened to public on Thursday, a day after its inauguration.
People from the capital and other parts of the country flocked to the metro rail stations at Diabari and Agargaon since the morning amid much enthusiasm.
While visiting the two stations in the morning, it was seen that thousands of people were standing in queues to collect tickets and make their dream journey.
As a few people travelled by the metro rail for going to their workplace, many made the ride only to become a part of history. Many service holders took leave to make trips on the metro train.
People from outside Dhaka, including children, were also seen waiting in queues to ride the train after buying tickets. For many it was just a pleasure trip with the near and dear ones.
However, many of them were not able to board trains on the first day.
A total of 3,857 passengers were able to make journey on the metro in 50 trips — 25 each from both Agargaon and Uttara ends — between 8:00am and 12:00pm.
Besides, technical glitch in the ticket server caused sufferings for the passengers.
They expressed dissatisfaction at the ‘poor preparation’ and were locked in altercation with members of law enforcement agencies and staff of ticket counters.
Though the metro rail service was scheduled to start at 8:00m, it started around 8:35am due to technical glitch at ticket vending machines at the Agargaon station.
Passengers had to purchase their tickets manually due to the technical fault.
Sohel Rana, additional station controller of metro rail, said the selling of tickets at vending machines remained suspended since morning due to the technical glitch and the authorities concerned are working on it.
Talking to the Daily Sun, university students Nadim Hasan and Fahim Ahmed said they waited in a long queue at the Diabari station for hours to get tickets to make the historic trip.
They said they would make a round trip from Diabari to Agargaon only to satisfy their curiosity.
Md Mojibur Rahman, sanitary inspector of Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, said, “I need to go to Shewrapara for an official purpose. I’ve decided to go to Agargaon by the metro train.”
“I chose the metro rail to quickly reach my destination but long wait has frustrated me,” he said.
Md Tareq Rahman, son of Mojibur Rahman and a civil engineer, said it took them long time to reach the station as the road from House Building to the Diabari station is quite narrow. “Had we gone to our destination by a bus, we would have reached much earlier,” he said.
Hailing from Dinajpur, Fatema Begum, owner of an online shop, came to the station with her two school-going daughters, mother and sister-in-law to travel by the metro train.
“I’m visiting Dhaka for a few days. My daughters have accompanied me as their schools are now closed. I’ve come here to enjoy the metro train ride with my children and other family members,” she said.
Replying to a query, she said long queue is very usual on the first day of commercial run of the metro rail as huge numbers of people have come to the station to make journey.
Golam Kibria, an employee of a Chinese company, said, “I’m very much excited to make the journey. I’ve taken leave from my office to go to Agargaon and come back by the metro train.”
Sanaf Aswad Khan, a five-year-old boy and student of an Egyptian school in Uttara, said, “I’ve come here with my parents to ride the electric train.”
However, he said, he got bored with standing in the queue for long.
Starting from 8:00am, several trains made trips between Uttara and Agargaon till 12:00pm on the first day. The train service will follow the same schedule for three months except weekly closure on every Tuesday.
There will be no stoppage at other stations in between during the period.
MAN Siddique, managing director of Dhaka Mass Transit Company Ltd, said people can collect ‘Rapid Pass’ to avoid hassle. Such passes are available at the stations, he said.
The pass will be available at the counters of Diabari and Agargaon stations from Friday.
Passengers can collect the pass from 3:00pm to 9:00pm, said a press release of the Ministry of Road Transport and Bridges on Thursday.
Each passenger will have to pay Tk 500 (Tk 200 for the card and Tk 300 as fare) at the counters and submit a MRT pass registry form (properly completed) for the pass card.
MRT pass registry form will be available at Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited website (httpwww.dmtcl.gov.bd).
About the time schedule, Siddique said trains will run from 8:00am to 12:00pm every day for the next three months. “Later, the service will be available till night and trains will stop at every station.”