Islamabad—To enjoy celebrations of Eid-ul-Fitr with beloved ones, the people who hails from different parts of the country working in government, semi government or private organizations return to their hometowns and the federal capital wore deserted look. On Monday, almost all major bus stops of twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi including the biggest terminals at Pirwadhai, Soan, Faizabad and Karachi Company were packed with passengers who were leaving to celebrate the forthcoming festival with their family members at home towns. This year the government has announced four days official holidays of the Eid clubbed with weekend making it a six days long vacation package for people.
“Eid is expected on Wednesday and I can’t take a risk as I have to reach my village by Monday evening,” said Sabir Hussain, who was going to his hometown in Khushab district.
Besides bus terminals, the Rawalpindi Railway Station was also brimming with passengers as special trains also started operation from Sunday. Railways authorities have also started extra trains at discount rates to facilitate commuters.
The Pirwadhai bus stop was overflowing with commuters as most people had not made reservations and were vying for any available seats. Long queues could be seen at the ticket counter, with arguments and minor scuffles breaking out every few minutes.
Majority of the federal capital’s residents have roots in other parts of the country, especially Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as they get little chance to spent time with their near and dear ones.
The few natives who remain in ‘the city that always sleeps’ must adjust to the additional gloom caused by the mass exodus.
“This is very happy day for me. I will get to see my children after one whole year while I celebrate Eid with them,” said Muhammad Inam, who was on his way to Mardan. Many people were upset with the high fares being charged by transporters – a frequent practice during the holidays.
Hasan Talal was looking for a ride home at Karachi Company bus stop. He claimed that transporters are charging Rs 100 to Rs 150 extra on each seat of vehicles scheduled for different cities.
The commuters complained that all over the world, fares are reduced on special holidays to facilitate the public, but in our country, the transporters charge through the nose and exploit poor people.