A Kolkata-bound bus belonging to Soudia Travels that left Dhaka on Thursday evening did not arrive at the Benapole border till Friday evening. A Dhaka-bound bus of Shyamali Travels that reached Petrapole border at 9am on Thursday had to wait for eight hours at the border to enter Bangladesh.
The ongoing political trouble in Bangladesh has already hit bus services and very few people arrived in Kolkata in the buses of Green Line travels, Shyamali Paribahan, Sohag Paribahan and S Alam Services on Friday and Saturday.
"Only those people who have to arrive in Kolkata on an emergency basis have been taking the Kolkata-bound buses. Mostly, those people whose visa are expiring and those who have crucial doctor meets are coming," said Shankar Dey of Green Line travels.
Owners and employees of various travel agencies said that around 300 Bangladeshi passengers come to Kolkata everyday around this time of the year. However, the total numbers has been down to just 100 in the last few days.
While Shyamali Paribahan and Soudia Travels have already stopped making bookings for Sunday and Monday, due to the 48-hour bandh called by Jamaate-Islami, Sohag travels and S Alam Services haven't cancelled the bus services on the two dates yet.
"The numbers of passengers from Bangladesh have steeply fallen in the last couple of days. Only 20 passengers came on the bus on Friday," said Mohammad Jamaal of S Alam Services.
According to Al Amin of Soudia travels, Bangladeshi travellers in Kolkata are already attempting to book tickets for Tuesday, as many expect the situation to calm down by then. "Right now the bus services have become irregular, as trouble may break out anytime, at any place," Amin said.
Swarup Dasgupta of Sohag Paribahan said that many travellers are skipping planned tours or postponing it because bus journeys have become troublesome. "More than half the passengers come here on emergency. The sudden trouble is making them change plans in the last minute," Dasgupta said.