Rickety Rly tracks and bridges threat to lives of passengers


AUTHORITIES of Bangladesh Railway are using wood and bamboo instead of iron equipment at rickety railway tracks and bridges in at least two major sections, posing great risks of fatal accidents. Over the recent years, while rehabilitation of old and rundown tracks and bridges have become a major concern for train passengers, use of wood and bamboo at tracks is seen in different sections of the railway from time to time. The use of wood and bamboo at rail tracks is proof of mismanagement in the Railway and negligence in duties by its staff.
News media reported that wooden and bamboo sticks are in use at some railway bridges in the Bangabandhu Bridge (East)-Joydebpur section while bamboo slices are being used to keep rail tracks in place at Doyaganj in the Dhaka-Narayanganj section. Dilapidated railway tracks are not uncommon even within the capital. As wooden sleepers on bridges at many places have become rickety the dog spikes are found missing and on some spots, the iron tracks are kept aside the line. Locals have alleged that drug addicts regularly steal parts of the tracks and iron nails. Iron nails were recently found to be broken on rail tracks at Tejgaon Railway Station in the capital.
Railway has a total of 4,324.75 kilometres of rail tracks across the country, of which most were built during the British period and many of these need an overall rehabilitation. Experts said the maintenance cost is low compared to big projects undertaken by the Railway. Railway staffs are not carrying out their duties properly as monitoring system is too poor. Railway should use its staff properly for the right kind of maintenance of the rail tracks otherwise people will start avoiding trains fearing possibilities of accidents. We demand that this sloppy maintenance job be dealt with severely, and the lack of coordination and care on the part of the authorities be investigated. Public safety on this scale cannot be just glossed over.