Cost of train operation by pvt company per passenger Tk 2.43 per km, income 62 paisa   

Illustration: Star Digital Graphics

In the last three years, the cost of train operation by a private company per passenger has been Tk 2.43 per km while the income was 62 paisa. During this time, the cost of transporting goods was Tk 8.94 per tonne and income was Tk 3.18 paisa.

The statistics was placed at a meeting of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Railways – held at the Jatiya Sangsad today (May 10, 2022).

The committee discussed the statistics of railway income and expenditure, submitted by the railway ministry.

However, the parliamentary watchdog was not satisfied with the data. They wanted statistics of income and expenditure on the basis of per train.

According to the working paper submitted by the ministry to the parliamentary committee, the railway ministry has said that they do not prepare train-based expenditure accounts.

The ministry said they calculate the income and expenditure on the basis of km traversed.

According to the railway ministry's statistics submitted to the parliamentary committee, 40 trains in the eastern and western zones of the railway are operated by private companies.

The income of these trains is over Tk 98.61 crore per year.

The committee has expressed dissatisfaction as the ministry did not submit the statistics of expenditure while operating these trains.

According to a press release issued by the Parliament Secretariat, the committee has asked the ministry to submit the details of annual income and expenditure of 40 privately run trains before the committee's next meeting.

While contacted, ABM Fazle Karim Chowdhury, chairman of the parliamentary committee, declined to comment on this issue.

He advised to contact the public relations department of the parliament secretariat for collecting information.

A member of the committee, speaking on condition of anonymity, wondered what the benefit of running those trains privately was if they incur loss. Railway can run those trains on their own.

He also said the committee had asked for the statistics of both income from and expenditure for running those trains. But the ministry did not share the information.

Meanwhile, in the last meeting of the parliamentary committee, it was recommended by the committee to make arrangements for members of the committee to visit South Korea, China or Japan after Eid to gain experience on railway activities in those countries.

However, ministry said, travel restrictions are still in place in South Korea, Japan and China due to coronavirus. If the travel restrictions of those countries concerned are relaxed, necessary actions will be taken in this regard, the ministry said.

The news was published in different media. However, the chairman of the committee denied to talk about the matter.

An official of the Parliament Secretariat said that there was no discussion on this issue in today's meeting.