Passengers on the Dhaka-Narayanganj rail route have been suffering since the authorities halved the number of trips on the route in July 2021.
Commuters on the route allege they wait for a long time on platforms for a train. Besides, the seats of the trains always remain dirty, causing uneasiness for travelers.
Bangladesh Railway (BR) charges only Tk15 for travelling on the route, while buses charge Tk 50-100, sources said.
"Three trains used to make 32 trips every day before the lockdown amid the corona situation. After the end of the lockdown, only two trains make 10-12 trips a day, "Shahat Hosasin, assistant station master of Gendaria Rail Station, told the Daily Sun.
The operation of a DEMU train has also been ceased as it is now out of order, he said.
"The engines of two trains are outdated, and the signal lights along the route are also out of order. An accident can take place at any time on the route," an assistant locomotive master said, wishing anonymity.
According to railway officials, trains from Dhaka start at 5:20 am, 7:10 am, 10:50 am, 3:30 pm, 5:20 pm, and 7:30 pm, while trains from Narayanganj start at 6:20 am, 8:00 am, 12:05 pm, 4:10 pm, 6:25 pm, and 8:15 pm.
During a visit to Sohortoli Platform at Kamalapur Railway Station around 12:00 pm on Wednesday, many passengers were seen sitting idly and waiting for a trip to Narayanganj.
Laboni Islam, who came to the station at 12:45 PM with two bags in her hands, was seen leaving the station after a short conversation with staff at the ticket counter.
She said, "I came to catch the train at 1:30 pm, but the railway staff informed me that there was no trip at that time. The next trip is at 3:30 pm. I cannot wait for that long time. "
"I was not informed of the cancellation of the trip. Now, I have to take a bus to reach my destination," she said.
Abul Kashem, a resident of Narayanganj and a regular commuter on the route, had been waiting for a train at the station since 12:00 pm.
He said, "I like to travel by train. I came to Dhaka by train in the morning. Now, I am waiting for another train, which will start at 3:30 pm. Earlier, we got trips every 30 minutes, but now we have to wait hours after hours to get a trip. "
When asked about the suffering of passengers, the Director General of Bangladesh Railways, Dhirendra Nath Mazumder, said, "I don’t know much about what happens on the route. First, I have to know and then I can comment on this. "