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104 railway stations in BD closed for manpower crisis: Minister

104 railway stations in BD closed for manpower crisis: Minister

Dhaka, Dec 13 – Railway Minister Nurul Islam Sujan yesterday said that 104 railway stations have been closed in the country due to manpower crisis. The minister said, “In the seventies, the manpower of Bangladesh Railway has declined to 27,000 from 70,000 in the seventies of the last century, forcing the authorities to shut 104 train stations. The workers who were in our factories, we used to make passenger coaches, wagons, and now the number of workers has dropped from 4000-5000 to 1100-1200.
The minister was speaking at an event marking the 20th founding anniversary of North Bengal
Journalists’ Forum (NBJF) in the Press Club yesterday.
The minister also said, “No new appointments have been made since 1986. As a result, there has been a shortage of experienced people.”
Sujon said Bangladesh Railway is operating trains almost double the capacity of the rail tracks in the country.
Explaining the reason behind the schedule disruption in the North Bengal trains, he said, “Bangladesh Railway has the capacity to operate 11 big trains on the tracks. In these tracks, 22 trains can be operated. However, overall 42 trains are operating on those tracks. The number of trains is large compared to railroads. That’s why Bangladesh Railway often suffers schedule disasters. We’re trying to solve the problem.”
He blamed the negligence to the rail sector after the death of Father of the National Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman for the present poor state of the railway.
Railway Minister Sujan added that after the separation of railway ministry in 2011 by the present government, several projects have been taken up in the railway. “From Komalapur to Tongi there will be four lanes, Tongi to Joydevpur will be two lanes, Akhaura to Laksam will be double line, which will be double lane to Chittagong. The Bangabandhu Bridge will be the new dedicated rail bridge. The dual gas bridge will be double line bridge. The Prime Minister will inaugurate its foundation stone any day next March. The tender process is already done,” he said.
Among others, President of NBJF, Modabbir Hossain and General Secretary of NBJF, Tofazzal Hossain, general secretary of Dhaka Journalist Union (DUJ), Sohail Haider Chowdhury, president of Dhaka Reporters’ Unity (DRU), Rafiqul Islam Azad, former general secretary of DRU, Raju Ahmed were present at the occasion. – Staff Reporter