The road was built by the government, the rail tracks too. But for any accident at this unprotected level crossing, it is the pedestrians or drivers who will be held responsible. Conveying a warning is all that the authorities have done. This level crossing, on Jail Road in Lalmonirhat town, has neither a gate nor a guard. Photo: Star
Some 300 of 525 level crossings on about 540 kilometres railway tracks in eight northern districts under Lalmonirhat Railway Division have no gates for a long time, exposing commuters and vehicles to accidents.
As there are no gates at these level crossings in West Zone Railway, accidents have been occurring regularly. At least nine people were killed in train crashes here in the last four years.
Abidul Islam Mandol, a resident of Jail road in Lalmonirhat district town, said people of Jail road and Chinipara village are crossing Jail road railway level crossing risking their lives as there is no gate there.
Railway sources said of the 300 unsafe level crossings, 32 are in Lalmonirhat, 30 in Kurigram, 45 in Rangpur, 50 in Bogra, 51 in Dinajpur, 34 in Gaibandha, 32 in Panchagarh and 26 in Thakurgaon districts. Fifty-one trains, including 10 intercity, 10 mail and 28 local passenger trains, and three goods carrying ones run through 525 level crossings regularly, sources added.
The Divisional Train Control official sources said some 120 of 300 unsafe level crossings are illegal as those were made when the Roads and Highways Department, Local Government Engineering Department, Zila Parishad and municipality authorities constructed roads across railway lines without taking permission from the railway authorities.
“Setting up gates and recruiting gatemen have remained stalled due to a fund crisis,” said Ahsan Zabir, Lalmonirhat divisional railway engineer.