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August 21, 2018

Eid passengers rush for home


August 21, 2018

Rejoicing at the thought of spending some time with my family sometimes I feel annoyed that I have just three holidays for Eidul Azha, but it applies to all living in the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

It becomes very difficult to enjoy the Eid days with family because three days are usually consumed in no time at all. Moreover, I will have to pay double the normal fare to go to my hometown. Like policemen, traders, shopkeepers, transporters too have by this time started collecting ‘Eidee’ from commuters by charging them exorbitantly.

Every year, a great multitude of people starts leaving Rawalpindi and Islamabad starting from two weeks before the Eid. This is for the reason that out of the millions of people with a residential status in these cities, the majority of them do not have a permanent presence here. They are transient residents of the city who require staying here in connection with their jobs, businesses and other reasons. Thus, people with their roots in districts other than the twin cities, leave them in the days before the Eid. They make a huge journey struggle and the officials disown their duty in making their journey smooth, safe and hassle free.

Every year before Eid, black-marketers at bus and train terminals have been fleecing home-goers like an ageless custom. Even before Eidul Azha holidays begin tomorrow homebound people have already surged onto the inter-district bus terminals of Soan and Pirwadhai, and railway stations which every year experience a huge rush of the homebound people. Although a large number of people have left for their homes, the remaining will go on the last working day before Eid to enjoy the festival vacation with their families.

Transport workers are gearing up for handling the final rush of the homebound people. Taxi drivers, rickshaw-pullers as well as wagon drivers, flying coach drivers are having a heyday from the huge rush of the city people, mostly leaving twin cities, while many of them remain busy doing their last moment shopping that will continue till the time they leave for their homes. The passengers start coming to the terminals at dawn to get some space for the long-journey. Although many of the train passengers collect advance tickets with great pain, people who cannot collect the tickets throng the station to head home on board the trains in collusion with the coolies who get them seats inside the compartments. The transport operators continue to add extra buses to their regular fleets. Such is the passion of homebound passengers to spend Eid in their hometown that they are willing to buy even a standing ticket.

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