According to a report, 244 people were killed, 228 injured in 235 railway accidents in 2018
A writ petition filed with the High Court has sought directives to close off unauthorized rail crossings and evict illegal structures along the tracks.
Supreme Court lawyer Syeda Shahin Ara Laili filed the writ in public interest on Sunday, reports UNB.
Secretaries of the Cabinet, railways, local government, and road transport and highways, chiefs of railway and police were made defendants.
The High Court bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Md Mostafizur Rahman might hear the petition, Advocate Aklas Uddin Bhuiyan, the petitioner’s lawyer said.
Quoting the writ petition, Aklas said there are 1,412 level crossings in Bangladesh. According to a report of BUET's Accident Research Institute, 244 people were killed and 228 injured in 235 railway accidents last year.
In 2017, 229 people died and 155 were injured in 221 accidents while 59 people lost their lives and 46 were injured in 56 accidents in 2016, the report said.
Aklas said 946 crossings lay unprotected although the railways have an option to put up fences.
“But no steps are being taken despite so many accidents,” he added.
On November 12, in the worst railway disaster over the past decade, 16 people including five children were killed in a collision between two intercity trains in Kasba upazila of Brahmanbaria.
Dhaka-bound Turna Nishita, coming from Chittagong, crashed into Chittagong-bound Udayan Express, coming from Sylhet, near Mondobagh Railway Station around 2:45am on November 12, according to railway and district administration officials.
The crash threw at least four bogies of Udayan Express off the tracks and left them in a mangled state, leading to the casualties. At least 200ft stretch of railway tracks was also damaged.
On November 14, just two days after the Brahmanbaria train accident, another train derailed at Ullapara, Sirajganj, snapping Dhaka’s railway communications with the northern districts for many hours.
The locomotive engine and seven coaches of Rangpur Express went off the rails at Ullapara Railway Station around 1:30pm on November 14, following an unscheduled stop.
Soon after, the engine caught fire, which then spread to four coaches including an air-conditioned one, he said.
On July 15, 11 people were killed in a collision between Dhaka-bound train Padma Express and a microbus at a level crossing in Panchakroshi union under Ullapara.