• Thursday, Jun 24, 2021
  • Last Update : 09:21 am

Gone off track

  • Published at 12:02 am July 4th, 2019
Rail tracks
Photo: BIGSTOCK

Data shows an alarming number of train accidents over the past decade

The recent tragic derailment of the Upaban Express brought to light, once again, the general negligence and lack of care amongst the authorities concerned when it comes to commuter safety.

Indeed, with the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) submitting a report to the Ministry of Railways this week identifying 10 sectors of Bangladesh Railway as “corrupted,” there is little doubt left that the sector is mired in issues that must be addressed without delay.

The report goes into detail about a host of corrupt practices employed by railway authorities -- such as land grabbing, illegal leasing, and selling tickets in the black market -- while also highlighting the gross lack of supervision and monitoring of activities by railway officials.

It goes without saying that Bangladesh Railway must take a long hard look inward, and address -- and fix -- these issues with immediacy.

While the ACC have also submitted 15 recommendations of their own to aid Bangladesh Railway in fixing their problems, and they appear to be thoughtful recommendations, these will mean nothing if Bangladesh Railway does not treat this issue with the urgency that it demands.

Bangladesh Railway’s own data shows an alarming number of train accidents over the past decade, a large number of which would have been preventable if proper maintenance, monitoring, and supervision were implemented across the sector.

It is, therefore, disappointing to see that, for a country such as Bangladesh which has such lofty economic aspirations for the very near future, we have to deal with a railway sector that looks to have gone off the track.

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