Rail crossings have become a major hassles for the people of Ishwardi. The main rail crossing of Ishwardi upazila has to be closed for 28 times per day due to heavy rail traffic through the Ishwardi Station. People of the town recently facing the troubles more often as the number of train increased.
Ishwardi Municipality officials said that the rail crossing is between the Ishwardi Railway Station and Central Bus Terminal. This rail crossing divides the east and west side of the city. Mass transportation along with the vehicles which have to go to Rooppur Nuclear Power Plan, Ishwardi EPZ, Pakshi Railway Department use this road.
Busses and cargo vehicles of northern districts also use this road to pass through. Though the number of vehicles increased, the time for shutting down the road for rail crossing did not change. Rather it increased as new trains were introduced to this tracks. A total of 28 rail crossing occurs in the point, which has created a constant grid lock around the area.
Locals in the area said that they have to wait at least 15 minutes in each rail crossing, as trains tend to slow down before entering the station.
So it takes more than five to six times longer than any regular rail crossing. Multiple rail crossing occurs many time and the waiting time turns to 30-35 minutes sometime. Thus students, office goers go through a hellish experience during exams and busy schedules.
More than 17 government offices, airport, divisional offices, 2 schools, colleges, 20 educational institutes are situated at the west side of this crossing.
Fire service department, markets, police station, two hospitals, power plant, Bangladesh Sugarcrop Research Institute, agro research institute, Bangladesh Nuclear Research Institute, multiple schools are on the east side of the crossing. It becomes a major hassle for school and office goers from 8 am to 3 pm as multiple intercity and mail trains passes through the crossing during this time.
Station Officer of Ishwardi Fire Service and Civil Defense Ariful Islam said that fire truck sometimes faces the crossing and cannot respond properly during any incident. This crossing is becoming an obstacle to save lives, he mentioned.
Locals said that due to the narrow state of the road, people cannot even walk over the rail crossing. Thus a major jam occurs every time.
Gatemen of the rail crossing said that they have been ordered to shut the gate before the train arrives so they have to shut the gates off early. As the speed of the train lowers towards the station, it takes 15-20 minutes each time to complete a full rail crossing.
Ishwardi Station Officials said that 28 trains pass through the station.
18 of them are intercity train, 4 of them are mail train,2 Moitri Express and 4 are freight cars. Besides, 4 engine cars go to Darshana for the freight cars every day. Meanwhile, 2 train trolleys check the track every day.
This rail crossing uses relay interlocking system to operate. This system was introduced in 1985 at Ishwardi, Parbatipur and Shantahar Railway Station.
LGED officials have visited the rail crossing area for the plan to construct an overpass. LGED officials in March 3 visited the place.
Ishwardi LGED Engineer Enamul Kabir said that MP Nuruzzaman Bishwas is currently working to pass the permission to build a flyover in the area. LGED officials already inspected the place. Works and plans are ongoing to help the locals of Ishwardi upazila.