The west zone (Rajshahi) of Bangladesh Railway (BR) has been implementing a Taka 47.84-crore level crossing rehabilitation project to ensure safe and uninterrupted movement of rail and road traffic by upgrading and manning the proposed level crossing gates.
To decrease the running time of passengers train by upgrading the level crossing gates and thus improving the sectional capacity to a large extent is another goal of the project. To this end, more than 326 level crossings are being rehabilitated, constructed and upgraded along with necessary gate keepers, said Mostafizur Rahman, Executive Engineer, reports BSS.
The project has provision of appointing 851 gatekeepers through outsourcing besides construction and reconstruction of 4,976.50 square-meters corner-rooms and repairing of 47,793 square-meters road surface attached to the level crossing.
Appointing process of the gatekeepers is at the final stage. Implementation work on installing 312-set gate barriers and 5508 wooden sleepers along with necessary signaling system and other instruments is progressing fast. Md Romzan Ali, chief engineer of the zone, said level crossing gates are very much sensitive and important part of railway operation which are prone to accidents.
In spite of following strict safety rules, accidents are taking place frequently due to many reasons causing human casualties, damage to government and private properties. Upgrading and repairing of the existing gates and construction of the new ones have become an urgent need for converting the unauthorized level crossing gates into authorized ones to reduce the possibilities of accidents.
Engineer Romzan said that up-gradation and manning the level crossing gates will ensure the utmost safety for rail and road traffic users especially for poor and vulnerable. There is an urgent need to save the human lives which are endangered over the long periods when accident occurs at level crossing gates.
"When a road is linked across the railway track, it is mandatory that the departments concerned arrange a meeting with the railway department about coordination of the matter. But the provision is hardly followed," he said. Sometimes unruly drivers, eager to pass level crossings in haste, even attack gatemen when they put barriers at level crossings, he said.
The poorly paid people, hardly getting any motivation for their work, do not regularly attend their duty at respective rail crossings to control traffic movement, added the railway official.
Collision between moving trains and road transports often leads to casualties and damage of vehicles as in absence of gatemen, drivers of buses and other vehicles tend to hastily pass level crossings even when they see a fast approaching train at a near distance.
Upon its successful implementation by June, 2019, the project will provide signaling arrangement especially in highway level crossing gates to avoid accidents that is very important in the present context, expected Engineer Ali.
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