LAHORE - Thousands of people on Sunday left the city to celebrate Eidul Azha in their hometowns, though the exodus started days before and will continue till Tuesday night.

Those who left city days ahead of Eid included students, daily labourers and small business owners and other people who live in Lahore with their families.

They preferred travelling early to avoid heavy rush and overcharging. Huge rush, however, was witnessed yesterday and on Saturday at city bus terminals and entry, exit points. The transporters, as usual, started cashing in on the situation. It is worth mentioning here that hundreds of thousands of people belonging to other cities have been engaged in various businesses in the Punjab capital. They go to their homes on Eidul Fitr and Eidul Azha. There are estimates that around five to six million people leave the city twice in year. Hence, the city of more than ten million people presents a deserted look on two occasions.

Passengers yesterday complained about menace of overcharging at Thokar Niaz Beg bypass, saying transport authorities failed to provide relief to them. But, officials claim the transport department, city district government and motorways police are actively supervising the fare collection and took strict action against overcharging. “Yes, we receive some complaints and quickly acted against transporters,” said the official at Thoker Bypass.

But, the passengers say the government authorities were absent from the scene, leaving them at transporters’ mercy. The standard transport companies including Daewoo, Niazi Bus Service, Faisal Movers and others, however, were charging old fare.

The Pakistan Railways is operating special trains to share the rush at buses. Huge rush was also witnessed at Lahore Railways Station.

Railways police has enhanced security at railway stations, trains and other installations to avoid any untoward situation on holy occasion. Railway Inspector General (IG) directed the officials not to leave any platform unattended and beggars should not be allowed there. He issued direction that all entry and exit points to the railway installations should be properly manned.