Dhaka city empty, silent after a buzzing Eid day

  • Sumon Mahmud, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2021-05-15 15:45:39 BdST

Shefali Begum, a cleaner from the northern district of Gaibandha, says Dhaka is empty on the day after Eid-ul-Fitr, but that has had no effect on the amount of garbage on the streets, so her work has kept her busy on Saturday morning.

Kalim Ullah, a rickshaw puller, said he has earned just Tk 100 after pulling passengers from 6 am to 12 pm. Fatigued by the blazing heat of the sun, he was resting under the shade of a tree in Ramna Park.

“People aren’t leaving their homes on the Eid holidays. We are unfortunate. But what can I do? I’m just resting in the shade of this tree.”

Dhaka’s Minto Road is nearly clear on Saturday, May 15, 2021 the day after Eid.

The roads in Dhaka are not full of the rush of vehicles or the noise of crowds. They are nearly vacant now, with only a few private cars, autorickshaws and rickshaws moving here and there.

The streets of Rampura, Bailey Road, Kakrail, Malibagh, Shantinagar, Paltan, Bijoynagar, Gulistan, Fakirerpul, Motijheel, Northsouth Road were all empty on Saturday morning.

The Shahbagh intersection in Dhaka is almost completely clear on Saturday, May 15, 2021, the day after Eid.

Rezaul Karim, an employee of Kakrail’s Islami Bank Hospital, said, “I was not allowed to return to my hometown as public transports were banned from traveling outside Dhaka. I’m heading to the hospital for work. The roads are empty the day after Eid. I breezed through from Moghbazar to Kakrail on a rickshaw. The fare was low as well.”

All the shops and shopping malls in the capital are closed. Some grocery stores are open, but only a handful of customers come by. In Shantinagar and Malibagh, sellers were seen waiting idly for customers

Shamimur Rahman from Bailey Road came to Shantinagar Bazar to buy vegetables. He said that he, too, could not visit his hometown due to coronavirus, so he had to celebrate Eid at his home in Dhaka.

The number of motorcycle riders without helmets has increased significantly amid a scarcity of traffic constables on Saturday, May 15, 2021, the day after Eid. Photo: Mahmud Zaman Ovi

Shamimur and his family are unable to visit their relatives, so the Eid break is spent watching television or sleeping.

He said, “I have two kids. They are frustrated too. But what could we do? There is no way to go anywhere in this situation.”

“I left the house to buy some vegetables. Usually, traders sell vegetables from wheelbarrows near the house, but I had to come to the market today, and even that is empty.”

Ramna Park is closed and the surrounding area is absolutely silent. Only a handful of people could be seen resting under trees on the footpath outside the park.

Rickshaw puller Nuru Mia was sleeping on his own three-wheeler. He lives in a slum in Rampura and has been out with his rickshaw since the morning.

“It’s extremely hot at home. I could not sleep at night. It’s so cosy under trees, it’s impossible not to drift off.”

“The people of Dhaka don’t usually leave their homes in the morning, but go outside in the afternoon. That’s what I’m waiting for,” Nuru Mia said.

Autorickshaw driver Azad said: “I brought a passenger from Sayedabad to Malibagh at 12 pm. He came from Chandina with his family.

“It looks like people will start returning to Dhaka in a day or two. We’ll be able to earn more then.”

Police, medical workers, journalists and emergency service works were still at work on the streets.