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Bangladesh Railway in deep crisis

Published : 29 Jan 2022 10:32 PM | Updated : 30 Jan 2022 12:42 PM

Scheduled train services are being canceled due to the shortage of crews (loco master-guard).

This sudden crisis has arisen following a notification from the Finance Ministry on the mileage issue. This has been badly affecting scheduled train journeys.

Until now, a total of 18 passenger trains have been canceled, but this time, a freight train was canceled by the railway authorities for crew shortage. 

Since last Wednesday, six shuttle trains to Chattogram University, 10 to Dhaka and one commuter train from Chattogram to Nazirhat have been canceled. On Friday night, the railway authorities canceled the departure of nine freight trains from Ishwardi Loco shed and four container trains from Chattogram citing locomotive master and guard crisis.

With the cancellation of a good number of scheduled trains in the last three days, the railways have come to a near standstill. At the same time, the railway schedule is being disrupted. 

General Manager of Eastern Railway, Mohammad Jahangir Hossain refused to comment on the crisis, but said, “This is not a crisis. Inter-city rail communication is normal. Regarding the logical demands of the running staff we are requesting them to join the regular work. Besides, talks are underway with the Ministry of Finance regarding their demands.” 

Railway running staff are continuing their agitation demanding cancellation of the controversial notification of the Finance Ministry on the mileage issue. Demonstration processions and rallies were held on Pahartali DRM railway premises demanding cancellation of the notification of the Ministry of Finance. 

According to them, if the notification of the Ministry of Finance is not canceled by January 30, they will go on strike from January 31. At the same time they have decided not to work more than 8 hours as part of their ongoing protest from Tuesday (January 25).   

However, the Railway Minister will hold a meeting with the agitating running staff on Monday. It is expected that a solution will come out of there, said railway officials. 

Railway Running Staff and Employees Workers Association general secretary Md. Mojibur Rahman said, “If the demand for allowance is not met, we will stop running trains from January 31. We have also written a letter to the Director General of Railways Dhirendranath Majumder last Thursday.” 

According to railway officials, Railway Minister Nurul Islam Sujan had spoken to the Finance Ministry to resolve the issue. Talks are also going on with the finance secretary. Attempts are being made to resolve the issue before January 31.

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