According to a petition, there are 1,412 unauthorized level-crossings across the country
The High Court has issued a rule asking the government to explain as to why directives should not be given to stop the operation of the unauthorized level-crossings and install fences along the authorized ones.
The bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Md Mostafizur Rahman issued the rule on Sunday after hearing a petition, reports UNB.
It also asked the Local Government Division secretary and other officials concerned to submit a progress report within three months.
Advocate Eklas Uddin Bhuiyan stood for the petitioner while Deputy Attorney General Amit Talukdar represented the state.
Secretaries to the Cabinet Division, Railways Ministry, Local Government Division and Road Transport and Bridges Ministry, director general of Bangladesh Railway and the inspector general of police were asked to respond to the rule in four weeks.
On November 24, Supreme Court lawyer Syeda Shahin Ara Laili had filed the writ petition, seeking necessary steps to remove unauthorized level-crossings.
According to the writ, there are 1,412 unauthorized level-crossings across the country.
As per the findings of Accident Research Institute (ARI) of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet), at least 244 people died and 228 were injured in 235 accidents at unauthorized level-crossings in 2018; while 229 people died and 155 were injured in 211 accidents in 2017.
The number of accidents in 2016 was 56, which killed 59 people and injured 46 others, according to the ARI.
Advocate Eklas said Bangladesh Railway published a database in August last year mentioning that there were 946 unauthorized level-crossings around the country.
According to Bangladesh Railway Act, the authorities concerned can take steps for fencing beside the level-crossings for security reason, but no such measure has been taken yet in this regard, he said.