LAHORE - Thousands of people are leaving the provincial capital for their hometowns through public and private transport to spend Eidul Fitr with their families and friends.

Even though people started traveling towards their native cities and towns since last week, Wednesday witnessed heavy rush at bus terminals and Lahore Railways Station.

Complaints of overcharging by the transporters are less as compared to the last year. Some transport owners, however, are charging more fare taking benefit of the situation. People are also adopting the traveling opportunity from trains as the Pakistan Railways is operating 23 Eid special trains to cater the need of commuters traveling on Eid across the country. Majority of the special trains are operating from Lahore to Karachi. The PR also decreased fare up to 50 percent on these special trains to facilitate the passengers.

In coming days, buses and trains would be packed with the passengers and the City exodus would continue till last night before the Eid day as the majority of the people live in the provincial metropolis and are from nearer cities like Kashur, Okara, Sheikhupura, Narowal, Gujranwala. Others would also leave the city on Chand Rat - the night before the Eid day.

Those who left Lahore on last couple of days earlier were included workers at industrial units, university students, businessmen whose business is unrelated to Eid shopping, owners of small hotels and restaurants and labourers. About one third residents have already left to their native towns from colonies like Model Town, Johar Town, Allama Iqbal Town, Gulshan Ravi, Township, Green Town and others.

Lahore is going to wear a deserted look on Friday as Eid is expected on Saturday. The exodus happens twice in year on Eidul Fitr and Eidul Azha when almost four to five million people leave Lahore to enjoy Eid celebrations with their families and friend in their hometowns.

On Wednesday, the city terminals witnessed great rush and the traffic at City’s exit and entry points, however, the roads would be comparatively calm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Number of people with their families and luggage were seen at General Bus Stands, Niazi Bus Stands and at City Bus Terminal. Large numbers of passengers were also seen standing at Thokar Niaz Beg bypass, Shera Kot, Yadgar Chowk and Batti Chowk.

Some of them, talking to this scribe, complained the transporters were charging extra fare for the luggage and there were no check on them by the authorities. But majority of the people were satisfied with the transport companies and the fare fixed by the transport department.

“Fleecing the people by the transport owners on these days is usual routine. The standard transport companies, however, take the fare from the passengers as it has been mentioned at fare list,” said a commuter.

On the other hand, transporters also admitted they were charging high from the passengers on Eid days as buses return to Lahore with sixty percent less passengers.