It is disheartening to note that in the last 10 years more than 300 people have died in more than 400 train accidents in Bangladesh. And the absurd reason for such an increasing number of rail-related fatalities is that two-thirds of Bangladesh Railway’s level crossings have no designated gatemen and there is no siren system at most of the level crossing in Bangladesh.
Reportedly, there are 2,541 level crossings on 2,955 kms of railways across the country. Of these, 1400 are legal crossings, 1141 are unauthorized crossings, and there are only 466 gatemen. Despite spending thousands of crores of taka, still the railways have not become a safe mode of transportation.
Installing siren and employing gatemen at level
crossings have become very much pertinent in
order to diminish the chances of rail-accidents
Experts are of the opinion that the absence of vigilance at level crossings has increased the number of rail fatalities, most of which occur at level crossings. However, such a large number of unprotected level crossings have appeared as a serious threat for the country’s entire rail sector.
Authorities blame illegal construction of rail gates and inadequate manpower for the rise in rail-related accidents. Moreover, lack of awareness among the pedestrians crossing the rail tracks is adding fuel to the fire in this regard.
Considering all above, installing siren and employing gatemen at every level crossing across the country have become very much pertinent in order to diminish the chances of rail-accidents.
However, it is good to note that rail authorities have already taken the initiative to recruit gatemen and once recruited, they will be posted at level crossings where traffic movement is relatively high. But it is also to mention that all such endeavors will bear no meaning and the number of such incidents will not come down if the ones using the tracks are not aware of the lurking danger.