Let this accident be an eye opener | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 15, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, July 15, 2012


Let this accident be an eye opener

Turn the railway into safe and profitable mode of transportation

The derailment of a Khulna-bound train in Gazipur once again brings up to us the poor infrastructural state of Bangladesh Railway. Two carriages along with the locomotive went off the track, killing one and injuring several passengers. Although the precise reasons behind the accident were not instantly known, the committees constituted to go into it should not only pinpoint the human or infrastructural flaws but also fix responsibility for the mishap.
We recall the new communications minister who, having assumed the portfolio of the railway ministry, assured us of breathing new life into this hugely potential communications sector. And we are indeed happy to note that some positive changes have occurred in matters of expanding the fleet and maintaining punctuality in arriving at and departing from stations. But basic infrastructural flaws, shortage of trained manpower and over all corrupt practices have induced a paralysis of this sector.
We have repetitively stressed that railway is the most ideally suited communications system as bulk carriers of passengers and goods across Bangladesh. This is more so because both road and river communications have become increasingly perilous and expensive due to poor maintenance and inflated fares.
For long this sector has received step-motherly treatment. Resultantly, the engines and carriages have worn out; shortage of fleet has persisted; railway stations along with the signaling systems badly needed doing up and be upgraded. Added to these are poor maintenance of amenities, and pilferage and grabbing of its assets. All these have accounted for the huge loss incurred by railway that amounts to nearly TK 7500 million by 2010.
Therefore, we are pinning hope on the communications minister to restore railway to its former glory by ridding it of corrupt elements, retrieving its landed assets from grabbers and providing it with all the necessary support including infrastructural modernisation, increasing manpower and above all, giving it a sense of direction.

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