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Are metro rail drivers getting proper training?

  • Published at 11:49 pm January 18th, 2020
Zakir-(44)
Workers busy with the construction works of the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) project in Dhaka Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

To add to the problem, the curriculum of the training manual has not been updated because of a lack of experts in the sector

Bangladesh Railway has begun training 60 metro rail drivers as well as technical staff at its training institution in Chittagong. 

The quality of training imparted to railway drivers, however, leaves a lot to be desired. Bangladesh Railway reports themselves have claimed that 72% of railway accidents in past years happened through mistakes made by loco-masters, station masters and technical staff of the railway.

To add to the problem, the curriculum of the training manual has not been updated because of a lack of experts in the sector. 

Though the country’s first-ever metro rail service is about to be launched in December next year, proper training for metro rail drivers and technical officers connected with the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) is still unavailable in Bangladesh.   

Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited (DMTCL), under the Ministry of Road Transport and Bridges, is implementing the metro rail project. 

As the Managing Director of DMTCL put it: “We have already acquired half of the drivers and technical staff needed to run the metro service.”

According to an insider of DMTCL: “The company has already appointed 60 drivers, including associate staff, for handling problems associated with metro trains.” 

MAN Siddique, managing director of DMTCL, furthered stated: “The drivers of metro rail are now receiving fundamental training from Bangladesh Railway’s training institution, whose personnel are mainly graduates in physics or mechanical engineering. 

“We plan to send the metro rail drivers and technical staff to countries where there are metro rail services.” 

As our metro rail system will be based on how the Japanese metro system works, we would like to send the drivers and the technical staff of MRT to Japan for training even though institutions in Japan are reluctant to train metro rail drivers from other countries. “

“However, talks are going on so that the drivers and technical staff get at least a short period of training from Japan in order to have confidence instilled in them as they can manage the metro rail,” he told Dhaka Tribune.  

According to the Revised Strategic Transport Plan (RSTP), the DMTCL will build six metro rail routes in Dhaka, which will help around five million passengers avail services per hour by 2030.