Sunday, January 19, 2020 | ePaper

Railway bridges on Akhaura-Sylhet section turn risky

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Md. Mosabbir Ali, Kulaura (M'bazar)  :
 The Railway bridges on Akhaura-Sylhet section has become risky for train movement as most of the wooden sleepers and  nat-bolts have been damaged. Some pieces of bamboo are being used for holding together the worn-out wooden sleepers of rail bridges.
On the other hand, accidents occurring are repeatedly due to the risky line of Sylhet-Akhaura railway section. But the authorities do not come to the notice.
Although there are small and big accidents at different times, there is no headache in the matter of the Railway authorities. There are rail route on top of the country's secure communication system, but death slips in Akhaura-Sylhet rail line are arranged.
There are no nat-bolts in the sleepers in different areas railway tracks. The railways have been repaired even with bamboo.
While this correspondent visited on Monday within a distance of 1 kilometer away from Srimangal rail station of Moulvibazar, on a bridge over the canal area, it can be seen that eight sleepers needs 64 Nat-bolts, but there are only 35 Nat-bolts used in this bridge. Nails on both sides of the slippers have been used. Some ropes also used with for not opened. As a result, there can be major accidents at any moment in this area.
On the other hand, there are no nat-bolts in 30 slippers in the rail route in front of this bridge. Only nails used both sides of the slippers. As a result, there can be major accidents at any moment in this area.
Not only have this every railway bridges including rail routes had same conditioned Akhaura-Sylhet railway line.
According to the Railway Authority, six intercity trains run on Dhaka-Sylhet-Chittagong railway track as Parabat, Jayantika, Paharika, Udayan, Upaban and Kalni express in twelve times every day. And every day in this way, there are at least 25/30 thousand passengers used.
Abul Kalam, a resident of Srimangal rail station area in Srimangal Upazila of Moulvibazar said that there are at least 20 bridges from Srimangal to Kamalganj, more than half of them have to be repaired with bamboo.  Abdul Karim Kim, convener of Songkhubdo Nagorik Andolon in Sylhet, said the railway bridges have become unsafe for train movement as many wooden sleepers and Nat-bolts have been damaged.
Under the Sylhet Division of the East Zone of Bangladesh Railway (BR), the rail bridges, constructed on hill fountains and rivers 60 to 70 years ago, in some places have become flimsy due to a lack of maintenance and repair.
None of the bridges have been reconstructed since their construction.
He called upon the railway authorities to repair the bridge immediately to avoid any accidents.
According to the Engineering Department of the BR, there are 250 big and small bridges on the 177 kilometre long rail route.
Tofazzal Sohel, General Secretary of Bangladesh Paribesh Andolon in Habiganj Unit said, a good number of the bridges in many parts have caved in under the pressure of hill water and due to sand extraction from rivers, making those even more risky for movement.
Sylhet Railway Station Assistant Station Manager Sajib Kumar Malakar said, nearly 100 small and big rail bridges have become vulnerable in the Sylhet-Akhaura section. The authorities set the speed limit of trains while crossing the bridges. Additional Secretary Mujibur Rahman said two investigation committees have been formed. Next action will be taken after receiving their report.

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