The Railway Ministry has sought an additional Tk 41.40 billion for 2019-20 fiscal year to run repairing work for damaged railway tracks and meet administrative expenses, official sources said.
The ministry on 21 October in a letter to the finance ministry sought the amount to carry out the repairing work of those railway establishments which had been damaged or completely washed out by recent flood and maintenance of newly launched train services in northern districts.Of the additional amount, Tk 337.39 crore (Tk 3.37 billion) will be spent for maintenance, Tk 34 crore for the repairing work of residential and non-residential buildings and Tk 42.39 crore for training of employees.
In the letter, Director General of Railway Md Shamsuzzaman urged the finance ministry to allocate the additional fund.
“The Railway has taken various repairing and maintenance works in the last fiscal year but the dues were unpaid due to lack of fund,” he said.
In the current fiscal, the ministry allocated Tk 311.46 crore to run maintenance of residential and non-residential buildings, equipment for permanent railway tracks, collecting trolley, making sleeper, and repairing bridges, level-crossing, foot over-bridges, connecting roads in ferry ghats.
The letter mentioned that the recent sudden flood completely washed out the Bonarpara-Gaibandha and Balabari-Ramna railway tracks but the dues were unpaid after prompt repairing work.
The ministry stressed the need for carrying out permanent repairing work on those tracks for operating trains smoothly.It thinks that some modern machinery, including track tamping machine, ballast regulating and cleaning machine, dynamic track stabilizer, rail cutting, drilling and disc cutting machine should be bought immediately for the smooth operation of train service.
Facilities in the station should be ensured in Panchagarh as three pair of trains have been started operating recently.
Some essential equipment should also be required for maintenance as railway started operating new trains in Dhaka-Rajshahi, Dhaka-Chapainwabganj, Dhaka-Benapole and Dhaka-Kurigram route.
The letter also said that wooden sleeper should be replaced by H-Beam Steel Sleeper of major bridges of the eastern side of Bangabandhu Bridge to Tangail and Abdulpur in Rajshahi.
The letter also mentioned that the repairing and rehabilitation work of 300 railway bridges are on process.
The railway DG said that although concrete sleeper had been put on the tracks between Jaidebpur and Parbatipur but the railway bridges were not repaired.
“Even, trains are plying on two bridges with limited speed. For operating smooth train service, railway bridges should be repaired or reconstructed soon,” he said.
In the letter, the DG said that many sleepers have been broken on the tracks between Jamtail and Parbatipur via Ishwardi bypass.
Buying some 10,291 sleepers depends on the availability of fund, he said.
The letter also added that additional fund is required for the compulsory training for 25,525 employees of the railway as per the government policy for 60-hour training facilities for all in a year.