45 trains derail in 5 months
As many as 45 incidents of train derailment occurred on 85-kilometre long Lalmonirhat-Burimari route under Lalmonirhat Railway Division during the last five months as shortage of sleepers and stone has made the line awfully risky.
Seven of the derailments took place in September, nine each in October and November, seven in December last year, 10 in January this year and three during the first five days of February.
A Lalmonirhat-bound passenger train from Burimari Land Port Railway Station derailed at Aluddin Nagar between Bawra and Patgram stations on Lalmonirhat-Burimari route on Thursday morning. As twelve wheels of four compartments of the passenger train went off the track, regular schedule of two trains on Lalmonirhat-Burimari and Lalmonirhat-Parbotipur route was disturbed, railway officials said.
To avoid derailment on Lalmonirhat-Burimari route, trains have to move at only 8 to 14 kilometres per hour while usual speed of a train is 45 kilometres per hour, said Abul Kashem, a train driver.
“Still the slow moving trains often face derailment as lack of stones and sleepers makes the route risky and unfit for use. I'm an experienced driver under Lalmonirhat Railway Division but I can't ensure that the train driven by me would not derail on the route,” he said.
Lalmonirhat Railway Divisional Traffic Superintendent Syed Zahurul Islam said lack of sufficient sleepers and absence of stones in the time expired rail lines are responsible for recurrent derailment of trains.
He said ninety percent of sleepers on Lalmonirhat-Burimari route have become useless.
Sources of Lalmonirhat Railway Divisional Mechanical Engineer's Office said the
It costs Bangladesh Railway (BR) Tk 65,000 to 70,000 to rescue each derailed train and the BR has spent Tk 28 lakh 56 thousand to conduct rescue work in 42 incidents of derailments on Lalmonirhat-Burimari route in the last five months.
Lalmonirhat Divisional Railway Office sources said the government sanctioned Tk 150 crore and 4 lakh for repairing rail line, 13 station buildings, small culverts and platforms of Lalmonirhat-Burimari railway route. The BR has already called an international tender from contractors. The last date of tender dropping is February 17 and the tender will be opened the following day.
Lalmonirhat Railway Divisional Engineer Al-Fattah Masudur Rahaman said repair work of railway line, station buildings, platforms, and culverts on the route is likely to start within six months after approval by the ministry concerned.