Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday directed the authorities to conduct a survey on railway bridges and culverts across the country and repair those damaged or risky.
Her directive came a day after four people were killed and scores injured following derailment of Upaban Express in Moulvibazar.
The PM gave several other directives while presiding over the weekly meeting of Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) at the planning ministry. The meeting approved 10 projects involving Tk 6,967 crore.
One of the 17-carriage intercity train, heading to the capital from Sylhet, fell into a canal under Boromchal bridge in Kulaura, while two others fell close to the canal’s banks. Three other carriages also derailed.
After the accident, different media published reports on poor condition of railway bridges and tracks across the country. The railway authorities, however, denied that poor condition of the bridge was responsible for the accident.
While passing a railway project for refurbishing 21 metre-gauge locomotives at a cost of Tk 242 crore yesterday, the PM talked about surveying railway bridges and culverts, Planning Minister MA Mannan told reporters after the meeting.
“Rail communications are considered as a safe mode of transport and so all rail bridges and culverts that need repair should be assessed and their repair should be done quickly so that people don’t lose their confidence in rail,” a meeting source quoted the PM as saying.
As of June 2017, there were 3,143 rail bridges. Of them, 2,817 were minor and 326 major, according to railway information book.
Contacted, Mofazzel Hossain, secretary of railways ministry, said they have report on railway bridges and culverts and after the PM’s directives, they would check their condition again and take necessary steps.
The PM also directed the authorities to prepare a master plan to widen roads to boost inter-district road connectivity. She asked them to ensure safety of the foreigners involved in different development projects.
Hasina also asked the finance secretary to raise funds so that players could continue their practices throughout the year as many players could not practise after a particular session for shortage of money.
The PM told the authorities to take steps so players get financial support after their retirement.
Hasina also directed the authorities not to turn any town into a city corporation unless those are divisional headquarters in future. Design or view of all district-level government offices will be same, but building sizes may be different, she added.
She also asked the authorities to take necessary measures so that the view of CHT Complex on the capital’s Bailey Road is not obstructed due to Officers’ Club building. She came up with the instructions while approving Tk 228 crore project to build some new structures for the club.
Under the project, a 12-storey building will be constructed at a cost of Tk 138 crore and a multi-level swimming pool at a cost of Tk 30 crore.