Published:  02:30 AM, 14 February 2018

Railway properties stealing rampant

The Bangladesh Railway's wealth, worth crores of taka, is being damaged due to lack of necessary care and utter negligence of the authorities concerned. Hundreds of train compartments have been lying abandoned out of stations for long. Most of those are being stolen due to lack of proper care and security. Similarly, abandoned compartments are being used as safe den of drug addicts and floating prostitutes.

Several crimes occur there. But, the authorities are indifferent due to unknown reasons. Even, they are not taking step to reduce losses by selling those through auction. Consequently, the compartments and different valuable spare parts are being damaged and stolen day by day. Sources said, the railway sector has now become a den of corruption, mismanagement and looting due to lack of proper monitoring.

If the stealing is prevented and revenue coming from sale of tickets is used in proper manner, it may turn into a profitable institution. There is a complaint that, a section of dishonest workers and employees are involved with the stealing and selling equipments of trains in secret way.

A huge number passenger-laden and freight compartments of railway have been lying under the open sky at Pahartoli Old Sell Depot in Chittagong for long. The worth of those abandoned wealth is estimated at around Tk 15 crore.
Railway sources said, the damaged compartments of meter gauge trains in eastern zone are repaired at the Pahartoli workshop, while the damaged compartments of trains in western zone are repaired at Syedpur workshop.
But, several hundreds of disorder compartment have been lying at Pahartoli workshop and different neighboring yards without care. Due to lack of proper protection and monitoring, different equipments including seat, train's wheels and iron sheets are being stolen from the abandoned compartments.

Golam Ambia, Equipment Regulator of Railway Eastern Zone said, "There are around 300 abandoned compartments at different station yards including Pahartoli workshop. It is not being possible to sell those due to complexities in tender and auction process. Consequently, those are being damaged under the sun day by day."

Not only in Pahartoli, innumerable damaged compartments have been remained lying in abandoned condition at around 12 workshops including Akhaura, Laksam, Bhairab Bazar, Tejgaon and Tongi Junction in eastern zone. The same scenario is prevailing at the western zone including Syedpur workshop, Parbatipur, Santahar, Bonarpara, Kholahati, Pakshi, Lalmonirhat, Chapainawabganj, Poradaho and Khulna station.

An official of the western zone seeking anonymity told that, the number of damaged and abandoned compartments has become so much high that there is no scope to keep new inoperative compartment anywhere of the workshops or station yards. If the unnecessary compartments and equipments would sell in proper manner, the government could earn huge amount of revenue.

Over half hundred abandoned compartments and huge other equipments have been remained lying at the Akhaura railway junction for over two decades without care, while over 300 compartments have been remained lying at Mymensingh junction and 400 in Lalmonirhat junction. The condition of Bhairab Bazar, Parbotipur, Santahar, Iswhardi, Tejgaon, Kamlapur, Tangi and Cantonment railway station is same. But, there is none to see this, locals alleged.

-Golam Mostafa Jibon, AA

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