Monday, 17 January, 2022
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Scant regard for Railway property

Scant regard for Railway property

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A picture published in yesterday’s Daily Sun – which shows train bogies rusting away at Kamalapur Railway Station for lack of maintenance – speaks volumes about the relevant authorities’ lackadaisical attitude towards preserving government property. This photograph is not unique and similar disregard for railway properties can be seen in railway stations all over the country.

The picture narrates most vividly how prized railway properties are gathering dust and getting dysfunctional mainly because of lack of care. It also shows how dispensable state-owned properties are in the eyes of their protectors. It seems they are more concerned about procuring new materials than taking proper care of the existing ones. Their lack of concern and extreme carelessness in maintaining state property can explain why even newly procured trains are becoming dysfunctional so quick and why railway remains a losing concern.

Of late the government has been giving an added importance to the modernisation and expansion of railway services by procuring new trains and developing new routes. But it is often alleged that corruption and mismanagement have left Bangladesh Railway in a sordid mess, incurring huge losses year after year.

Railway is not only the cheapest and safest mode of travel but also considered as an environmentally sound mode of transport across the world. But passengers in Bangladesh, to a large extent, cannot avail themselves of railway service mainly because of poor passenger service. Apparently the bottlenecks are indifference, poor policies, corruption, pilferage and nepotism. These factors have all but turned the service oriented sector into a sector of wasting taxpayers’ money.

As the photograph shows there are ample proofs that our railway is not on the right track, while this very means of transport is becoming increasingly faster and popular in other countries. Many countries have introduced super fast trains which radically changed the concept or railway journey in terms of speed and facilities. We too are hoping to enter into the era of faster train service. But as long as the railway authorities are not serious enough to run the sector efficiently and professionally, the dream of a better train service will remain a mirage.