How many more lives must be lost?
While Bangladesh has indeed come a long way in numerous sectors, for which it deserves the plaudits it receives, there remain some fundamental issues that we continue to fail to address. Rail accidents, unfortunately, remain one of those issues.
Just this week, a Dhaka-bound train crashed into a car in Narayanganj, critically injuring the driver, a man was killed by a train in the capital, and in Sylhet, defected rail tracks were responsible for the derailment of a train carrying oil, which not only spilled and wasted the valuable fuel, but also threatened the local environment and disrupted train services between Dhaka and Sylhet.
While there is investigation underway to get to the root causes of these accidents, unfortunately, these incidents continue to happen time and time again, leading to a loss of lives and resources that simply cannot be accepted as a norm, particularly for a country that is looking to establish itself as an emerging economy on the global stage.
Make no mistake about it, while investigations are necessary, and of course any individuals found culpable must face the consequences, the fact remains that the lion’s share of these accidents are entirely avoidable, and ultimately boils down to a culture of gross negligence and disregard, both for human life and duty.
The questions remain: When will these accidents stop? How many more lives must be lost, how much more money needs to be spent, before we wake up to realize the gravity of this issue?