It is an open secret that a host of ailments falling in the broad categories of inefficiency, mismanagement and corruption have immensely contributed to turning Bangladesh Railway into a sick entity, with little prospect of recuperating its lost health in foreseeable future. However, these categories of highly generalised forms can hardly give you a perceptible picture of the minute details of the ground realities inside this state owned mass transportation system. Forms and methods of corrupt practices in the railway department, like in any other public sector, is a matter of thoroughgoing and in-depth investigation and research. Outsiders can sometimes have only a flickering glimpse of what have actually been going deep down there.
That an immense quantity of diesel is pilfered from locomotives everyday is just one manifestations of how this public sector bleeds continuously. This has been going on for years together and law enforcement agencies received complaints after complaints but the crime continues unabated. No measure has so far been taken to stop the haemorrhage and save the patient.Outside enemies can no doubt cause great damage to the camps of their rivals but an enemy within one’s own camp can wreak far greater havoc than an outsider. This universal truth is also applicable to stealing of railway diesel. Without involvement of home-grown enemies such an immense quantity of the fuel cannot be pilfered on a regular basis. Some railway employees are engaged in fortune hunting at the cost of their employer. Awami League and BNP are always at loggerheads in politics but their local activists flock together whenever comes the question of plundering public property – in this case, railway diesel.
Railway Additional Director General (Rollin Stock) claimed his ignorance about the arrest by RAB-5 of some criminals involved in diesel pilferage and recovery of more than two thousand litres of the fuel. But as the main custodian of railway’s diesel stock, he is supposed to know burning of how much fuel is reasonable per unit distance and per unit time. Does he issue diesel without estimating the real quantity required? An in-depth and unbiased probe can ascertain what he knows and what he does not. Irrespective of whether he knows a particular thing or not, finally he is to be held responsible for draining down of the valuable input.