Unprotected level crossings and tracks

Deploy designated gatemen, demolish illegal establishments

Published : 27 Jul 2022 08:44 PM

Unmanned level crossings have turned into potential death traps for people across the country. Rail-related fatalities are on the rise as most level crossings either authorised or unauthorised still remain unprotected.

Five people were killed and many other injured when a train hit a bus, carrying garments factory workers in Gazipur’s Sripur upazila on July 24.  Besides, five construction workers were killed and three injured as a train rammed a concrete mixer three-wheeler at a crossing in Gopalganj's Kashiani upazila on July 21.

Railways Minister Md Nurul Islam Sujan admitted that about 2,000 level crossings out of 3,200 across the country are unauthorised. These unauthorised level crossings always remain unguarded.

In most cases, the guards appointed at the authorised level crossing do not discharge their duties properly. On the other hand, authorities of railway have not closed the “high risk” unmanned level crossings yet.

The authorities concerned must take immediate steps to 

install danger signs, appoint gatemen and demolish illegal 

establishments from both sides of rail tracks

Amid growing concerns over the casualties at unauthorised and unmanned railway level crossings, the authorities earlier had taken several measures. But the measures failed to stop the frequent deadly accidents at the unprotected level crossings, claiming lives and damaging property. 

When an accident occurs at any place in the country local people stage demonstration and protest rally demanding closing of unmanned and unauthorised level crossings. Therefore, if the authorities concerned do not construct speed breakers on each side of level crossings, close the illegal level crossings and erect overpasses or underpasses on urgent basis, the situation will take a serious turn in the future. Besides, the authorities concerned must take immediate steps to install danger signs, appoint gatemen and demolish illegal establishments from both sides of rail tracks.

The railway authorities have been developing infrastructure but it has not attached importance on the safety-related issues. As they are not paying attention to this serious issue, such fatalities are increasing day by day. If the authorities continue to put emphasis only on structural development without proper safety measures, its progress will get faded once.

We do not want to see the repetition of such deadly and tragic train accident that continue taking people’s lives and ruining many families within moments. Such death is causing an irreparable loss to every family of the victims.

The authorities concerned must embark on a separate project to oversee and improve maintenance of the level crossing and build capacity of the gatemen through revise training methodology. The gatemen, who will be responsible for accidents on level crossings, must be severely punished so that none would dare to neglect their duty in future.