Thursday, September 21, 2017 | ePaper

BR operational loss hits record high

  • Print
Kazi Zahidul Hasan :
Operational loss of Bangladesh Railway (BR) climbed to Tk1,226 crore in the immediate past fiscal year (2016-17), thanks to poor service delivery and operational inefficiency.  
The amount of BR's loss is the highest since independence of Bangladesh.
BR incurred Tk1,110.52 crore operational loss in the fiscal year 2010-2011 and the lowest was Tk 657.94 crore in the fiscal 2008-2009, according to official figures.
"Though the sector is incurring loss, we will run the railway services for the national interest. The government is providing subsidy to BR in the form of reimbursement of its losses," Railways Minister Mujibul Haque told The New Nation on Friday.
He, however, said that the government has taken up a number of projects to
 make the railway service viable and passenger-oriented.
"The government has taken various initiatives to improve operational efficiency of BR. At the same time, it is working for modernizing the railway sector with building new rail tracks, buying new engines and coaches. All these will help improve BR's quality of service significantly in the future," he added.
The government had spent Tk 38,188 crore in the last eight years, from fiscal year 2009-10 and 2016-17 for the development of railway sector.
Of the total amount, Tk 23,586 crore has been spent to the head of BR's development expenditure and Tk 14,902 crore non-development expenditure.  
"The government put maximum emphasis on the development of the railway sector since assuming power in 2009. Subsequently, the railways ministry saw a significant hike in budgetary allocation to transform railway service modern and passenger-oriented. But the scenario has not changed due to lack of operational efficiency and substandard service delivery of BR," Dr Shamsul Hoque, an infrastructure expert, told The New Nation yesterday.
When asked, he said, "BR runs short of potential resulted from institutional weakness forcing it to incur losses every year. BR has been running by non-professional and non-technical persons for long and such a practice has weakened its institutional strength. Corruption is a persisting problem within the railways and the issue should be addressed by infusing dynamism into its top management."     
Dr Shamsul Hoque, a professor of civil engineering at Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), suggested that BR should function independently with technical persons. Such a move could reduce its operational loss significantly, he said.
The government has approved a 20-year master plan to make BR a modern, time-befitting and comfortable mode of transport.
The Railways Ministry has been implementing different mega and fast track projects (Padma Rail Link, Dohazari-Gundum-Cox's Bazar rail track) involving several billion dollars.

More News For this Category

We need diplomatic offensive with the option of military cooperation

We need diplomatic offensive with the option of military cooperation

Diplomatic Correspondent :No sweet diplomacy will work. Military in Myanmar has taken calculated military decision to throw the Rohingyas out of their country knowing the weakness of Bangladesh.  Their

Tribunal reveals horrific details of atrocities against Rohingyas

New Straits Times :A woman from Laung Don village fled her house when Myanmar soldiers came into the village, leaving behind her sister who had just given birth and her

248 killed in Mexico quake

Mail Online :At least 248 people are dead after a 7.1-magnitude earthquake hit Mexico on Tuesday causing widespread devastation across Mexico City where a school has collapsed.Twenty children and two

Take back Rohingyas

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has urged the government of Myanmar to take urgent steps for the sustainable return of Rohingya refugees and internally and externally displaced Rohingya Muslims

Suu Kyi denies going `soft` on military

Reuters :Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi has rejected a suggestion she is soft on the military, which the United Nations has accused of ethnic cleansing, saying her relationship with

OIC leaders must unite

Badrul Ahsan from  New York :Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has urged the leaders of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to unite over the Rohingya crisis.Expressing Dhaka's readiness to join any

Take steps to address Rohingya crisis: UN

As the number of Rohingya who have fled to Bangladesh surpassed 400,000, UN agencies are scaling up their efforts to assist the displaced people with Secretary-General António Guterres renewing his

Where the relief items go?

Sagar Biswas :Indisciplined distribution is the main reason for not getting adequate relief by the Rohingya refugees though Bangladesh government, several foreign countries, international and local organizations have already donated

Rohingyas scrambling for food, water, medicines

Md Joynal Abedin Khan :Several lakh Rohingyas living in Cox's Bazar's Ukhiya and Teknaf upazilas are scrambling for relief items mainly food, clothes,  safe water, and medicine to sustain lives.The

US pledges $32 m for Rohingyas

The United States will provide nearly $32 million for humanitarian assistance to Rohingya Muslims displaced by sectarian violence in Myanmar. The announcement by the State Department comes a day after