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95 rail bridges in Dhaka-Sylhet section risky

Our Correspondent, Sylhet | Published: June 27, 2019 10:21:18 | Updated: June 27, 2019 13:21:15


A rail bridge — Collected photo

As many as 95 bridges on the Dhaka-Sylhet railway section has been in dilapidated state for long.

Trains on the Sylhet-Akhaura section, Dhaka-Sylhet and Sylhet-Chittagong routes run amid a risk.

Almost all the bridges have turned risky as no major overhauling or reconstruction work was undertaken over the last few decades, sources said.

Things came to limelight after Sunday night's accident that took place at Baramchal, near Kulaura Junction. Bogies of the Dhaka-bound Upoban Express were derailed leaving four passengers dead and over a hundred injured.

While talking to the journalists, railway secretary Md Mofazzel Hossain, who visited the accident site on Monday, said there would be a major work on the Sylhet-Akhaura section in the 2019-2020 fiscal.

Work on the establishment of new rail tracks would also be started this year, he added.

Official sources said there are 250 bridges, small and large, on the 177 km track. Of them 95 are risky, the secretary admitted. However, an official of Bangladesh Railway (BR) said 43 bridges on the Dhaka-Sylhet route and 53 on the Sylhet-Chittagong route are risky. All these were built decades ago and need reconstruction as soon as possible.

Six bridges on the Akhaura-Sylhet route are repairable, they added.

Sources said the 75-metre long bridge, built in 1910 on Kushiyara river at Fenchuganj on Sylhet-Akhaura section had been in a deplorable state for long like some others.

At least 25 accidents took place at places over the last three years, but things often remain unattended for no loss of human lives. Several bogies were derailed in these incidents snapping the train service for long hours.

Both passenger trains as well as good trains were stranded for long time at stations in all these incidents, snapping Sylhet's rail link with Dhaka and Chittagong.

Besides, during the monsoon landslide incidents coupled with trees falling on railway tracks on the hilly places in the Sylhet region often cause trouble for the trains.

As many as 12,000 to 15,000 passengers travel through the six pairs of intercity trains on the Dhaka-Sylhet and Sylhet-Chittagong routes daily. Besides, some more local and good trains ply on the two sections.

Sources said, the then Sylhet region came under railway network of the Assam Bengal Railway in 1891.

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