The West Zone of Bangladesh Railway has earned revenue worth around Taka 596.45 crore during the last 2017-18 fiscal year up by Taka 118.34 crore over the previous 2016-17 fiscal.
Of the total earnings, Taka 355.69 crore was obtained by carrying passengers while Taka 159.72 crore from goods transportation. Taka 478.11 crore was revenue earning in 2016-17 fiscal.
Mihir Kanti Guha, Chief Commercial Manager of the zone said the earning is gradually increasing. The zone, covering Rajshahi, Rangpur and Khulna divisions, has been operating 139 trains, including 46 intercity ones on different routes also connecting the capital Dhaka at present.
Forty-six mail and commuters or shuttle and 35 local trains are being operated on various long and short-distance routes which are very popular among the passengers.
He stated that the number of passengers on various routes, where the intercity trains ply, especially those connecting the capital Dhaka has increased significantly in the last couple of years.
For the betterment of the passengers in general, he said 31 major stations have been brought under the modern computerized seat reservation and ticketing system. Some of those including Rajshahi have launched ticket selling, seat reservation and other requisite privileges through online system.
Mihir Kanti, however, said the revenue earning could be enhanced to a great extent if the huge numbers of non-functional stations are re-launched as early as possible.
Shah Newaj, Chief Operating Superintendent of the zone, said 65 out of total 226 stations remained inoperative for long due to various problems including shortage of stationmaster, points man, shunting man, booking clerk and other necessary staffs.
Mujibur Rahman, General Manager of the zone informed that many of the non-functioning stations are expected to be functional when the process of manpower recruitment is completed.
In order to improve passengers services and the sector as well, implementation works of eight development projects were completed after spending around Taka 3,186.5 crore during last nine years till June last and eight other projects are being implemented with an estimated cost of around Taka 7,737.54 crore at present.
Procurement of 120 broad gauge passenger coaches, six BG break vans and one BG and one MG cranes were completed while many passenger coaches and wagons were repaired and rehabilitated in Syedpur Railway Workshop.
Construction works of a 65-kilomter new railway line from Khulna to Mongla are moving ahead. Remodeling works of Khulna station and rehabilitation of 326 railway gates are progressing.
Rahman said construction works of two 122-kilometer new railway lines one from Kasiani to Gopalganj Gobra and other from Ishwardi to Dhalarchar via Pabna is touching to end.
Renovation works of railway tracks on different sections from Parbatipur to Birol via Panchagarh and Kanchan, from Lalmonirhat to Burimari, from Syedpur to Chilahati and from Rajshahi to Chapainawabganj via Rohanpur and Amnura were completed.
Implementation works of signaling system rehabilitation in 26 stations and signaling works on Darshana-Ishwardi-Sirajgonj Bazar are on final stage.
The west zone is committed to provide safe, reliable, cost-effective and time efficient rail transport services everywhere in the zone through modernizing, expanding and maintaining rail system in a manner which supports government strategies for economic, social and environmental development.
Modernizing signaling, interlocking and telecom systems and up gradation of locomotives, coaches and other rolling stocks are being maintained.