Girls decorate their hands with henna as part of Eid al-Fitr festival preparations in Multan yesterday
LAHORE: Exodus of people from Lahore, the provincial metropolis of the populous Punjab province, has started as Eid al-Fitr approaches.
People have started packing their luggage and booking seats so they leave well in time to spend Eid with their relatives and loved ones.
A large number of students thronged bus stations on Saturday as educational institutes closed their hostels. The Punjab University had closed its hostels except hostel for international students. Other educational institutions have also suspended educational activities, compelling students who hail from outside Lahore to leave for their homes.
The situation has created great commotion at bus stations as students try to get buses to reach their homes in time to celebrate Eid with their families.
People, including students, formed long queues at booking offices located at Badami Bagh, Shera Kot and Tokhar Niaz Beg.
Majority of people have complained that the administration of the transportation companies was overcharging customers as they knew people's choices were limited.
They have urged the provincial government to take notice of excesses on the part of transport companies. They said the provincial government should hold a meeting with transporters to end exploitation of passengers on festivals.
"Transport owners should ply more buses on inter-city routes on Eid al-Fitr.
Shortage of buses on festivals has become a chronic problem. The government should do something for people who wait to see their loved ones on Eid," said Mohamed Salim, a Punjab University student who hails from Rahim Yar Khan.
People who were fasting found it very difficult to stand in queues for hours to get tickets from booking offices. "I have been trying to buy a ticket for Multan for the last three hours. The administration says it will open booking when a bus is available," said Mohamed Irfan, a marketing professional who hails from Multan.
People who had booked their seats have to wait for hours for buses as extraordinary movement of people has disrupted schedule of buses.....