Wednesday, June 19, 2024

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বাংলা
Dhaka Tribune

Getting back on track

The authorities should consider systematically upgrading our railway network and modernizing it within a realistic time-frame
Update : 31 Mar 2024, 09:27 AM
Mere days ago the Bangladesh Railway witnessed a record number of hits on its website on the sixth day of advance ticket sale for the upcoming Eid-ul-Fitr, with an average of 500 hits for each railway ticket.

Needless to say, trains are one of the most popular modes of travel for Bangladeshis.

Which is why the abject state of our railway infrastructure, whether discussing capacity or even the quality of service, is especially confusing. Given just how important trains are to working-class and middle-class Bangladesh, it behooves the administration to start planning a complete overhaul of our entire railway network.

Given how trains are one of the foremost modes of transport within Bangladesh, the authorities should consider systematically upgrading our railway network and modernizing it within a realistic time-frame -- doing so will no doubt have a spillover effect on our other ambitions.

One of the oft-cited reasons behind our railway services’ constant state of disrepair, literally and figuratively, is mismanagement -- despite the government pumping ever-increasing amounts in investment over the past years, Bangladesh Railway has continued to incur sizeable losses, completely undermining its potential as a considerable revenue earner for the nation in the process.

We have seen far too many railway projects either left by the wayside or with next to no information regarding their progress. Last year the government announced plans to operate an electric train service along the Dhaka-Chittagong route -- given the economic importance of both these cities, this project stands to be something of a game-changer. What exactly is the progress on this project?

Bangladesh deserves a railway infrastructure in line with its importance to the average citizen, to that end nothing short of a top-to-bottom remap of the entire network will do at this juncture.
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