BANGLADESH RAILWAY: AN UNEXPLORED POTENTIAL
Transport system is essential for the economic development of a country.
Throughout the world railways provide inexpensive and safer transportation of
people and goods. Unfortunately for Bangladesh the role of Railways has declined
over the years. Years of negligence has made the railways unable to contribute
effectively in the economic development of the country. Railway has the inherent
advantages of bulk carriage at minimum cost and least possible effect on the
environment. In a small country like Bangladesh with high population density,
scares arable land and environmental disasters, railway could have expanded
to an effective network contributing towards the development of the country.
Exploiting the Geo-strategic location, Bangladesh can also become a regional
transport hub to provide transport services to her neighbours through railway
to her sea ports. The overall performance of Bangladesh Railway in personnel,
Infrastructure and Rolling stocks in comparison to foreign railways leaves much
to be desired. Performance improvement alone on these aspects would go a long
way in realising the potentials of BR. In addition the opportunities rising from
changing market trend, regional connectivity and small additions to the network
will enhance the capabilities of BR manifold. The Railways unlike other modes
of transport is responsible for both infrastructure and operations. Therefore, the economic and financial aspects of railways are much complex and differ from
that of other sectors. The financial sustainability of railways demands long term
planning and regular investment. The Government of Bangladesh has started
giving due importance to railways which will take time to bear fruits. In due time,
Bangladesh Railways will realise its potential of becoming a sound enterprise that
will contribute significantly to the economic development of the country.