Developing the Railway Sector in Bangladesh

Name: Zakia Afrooz ID: 11264001

Course Name: Managerial Communication Code: Bus 501. Section: 1

Submission Date: 18.04.2012

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2 . serving a population of approximately 140 million living in an area of 1. one of the major problems presently faced by the BR is a serious shortage of locomotives and route capacity. Introduction ‘’Railway’’ one of the oldest transport mode of Bangladesh has immense contribution to economy with huge potential. “transport unreliability”.55. is a Government-owned and Government-managed unique organization. some of the branch line railway sections were declared redundant and subsequently closed and no proper attention to maintain the existing asset was being given. Regional connectivity. Due to truncation from the main system. and resulting lower price for farm products. export growth and trade. If we can develop the quality and the standard of the service the railway sector can outperform in terms of economic accelerator. The Bangladesh economy is burdened by major transportation constraints that lead to lower efficiency. a principal transportation agency of the country. Railway is facing many problems due to administrative complicacy. and more significantly. which reduce producer incentives. instead of constructing new rail-routes. BR is handicapped to serve the country effectively and efficaciously without proper re-orientation and development.598 square kilometers. Since the liberation of Bangladesh. higher transport costs. regional connectivity and economic growth factor. with major adverse consequences for the economy. Bangladesh Railway (BR). But the significant organization is facing obstacles in every step.Abstract Bangladesh Railway is a promising sector for Bangladesh in terms of transport solution. failure of delivery schedules in exports affecting competition. lack of government focus and other regional factors. GDP growth and the freight gateway can be achieved. quality determination. These are increased marketing risks. But the prospect is enormous for the railway sector. Besides. More than 1200 kms rail lines are under risk for operation due to lack of proper maintenance.

The opportunities are enormous in this sector that needs to develop and maintain to encounter the demand of regional and international connectivity to get comparative advantage as a growing nation. • Corruption: corruption is one of the major reasons for Bangladesh Railway to develop. Every year Bangladesh railway books loss where as the profitability prospect is higher. Road infrastructure has developed tremendously for huge invest during the last decades. existing railway infrastructures cannot be 3 . So we need to build a lot of bridge on the rivers. nine transport sector parastatals and lack of co-ordination and autonomy of transport parastatals). Hundreds of rivers are flowing over the territory. Dual Gauge (DG) has been constructed in some important sections to ease the problems. which involves transshipments of traffic at the break of gauge points. on the contrary. It take a long Lack of government attention: Bangladesh Railway is a neglected sector for a long period.635. On the other hand.51 acres of railway land grabbed (Source: The Independent Thu. Problem: • Inherited physical problems: The three physical constrains for is natural condition (like river erosion. 4. a small county of only 1. 16/02/2012) till 2012. negligible allocation of resources to rail sector compared to roads has led to paralyze the rail transportation system of the country year after year. • Gauge problems: The railway system comprises two gauges. No remarkable project/program has been taken to develop and strengthen the railway network. Broad Gauge & Miter Gauge. But Bangladesh.598 square kilometers. is a land of rivers. In every step the corruption hinders development dramatically. No Government of Bangladesh has patronized this thrust sector properly for unknown reasons. low investment and inadequate institutional framework (four ministries. 55. Recently. • • Managerial problems: Bangladesh Railway management system is under experiment for a long time. soil condition and flood). • Geographical constraints: Rail transportation is very much attractive for long distance uninterrupted route network.

Bangladesh can have the opportunity to become a giant to develop further. • Comparative Advantage: Bangladesh Railway is cheap. Public Private Partnership can work and enhance more opportunity to expand further. railways are always at a disadvantage compared to road transport. Specially in city area that causes huge traffic jam and more accident. On the other hand. • Bangladesh’s potential to be transport hub: Bangladesh holds the geographical advantage for transport in south Asian region. divided by the river Jamuna. Globally transport system can engage Bangladesh railway as a promising partner. As a result. Prospects of Bangladesh Railway • Projected benefits: Providing the revenue system to private body Bangladesh Railway can earn more revenue. If the quality and the benchmark can set to international standard then more project benefit can be ensured. under the administrative control of two GMs who are accountable to DG. • Lack of modernization & development: The expansion of BR has been blocked since 1947. attractive alternative and can provide high portability for the business organization that with enhance GDP growth. This has adverse impact on the efficiency and reliability of railway services. Each zone is further divided into a numbers of divisions under the control of Divisional Railway Managers (DRMs) in association of different Departmental Heads & subordinates. Bangladesh is using railway for transport less than other options because of the mismanagement. 4 . • Same Space sharing: The railway tracks and the roads are bisecting in many areas. derailment has become common. As a result. • Lack of coordination: Bangladesh railway is a large organization comprising of two zones. Only 80 kms rail line has been constructed for last 50 years.properly maintained due to lack of resource. This large amalgamation frequently creates coordination problems. The transport system can mobilize the business activity faster. more than 1200 kms rail lines are under risk for operation due to lack of proper maintenance and attention which is mainly for insufficient fund allocation.East & West.

this corridor has utmost importance in the context of Bangladesh transport. • Trans-Asian railway route: Geographically Bangladesh can easily connect giant Asian railway route like China. India and other countries where Bangladesh can reduce export and import cost as well as explore new sector as the transport system is smooth. is facilitated with the nation’s commercial capital and is the most advanced industrialized area and the principal sea port of the country. the railway is called upon to carry traditional low rated 5 .0 million populations. It is expected that in 2015. low slack time and with dependability. is the capital city of Bangladesh.• Regional Connectivity: Regional connectivity has encouraged Ashugonj and Chittagong port to develop dramatically. with the population of 14. Shipment through ship can be distributed in places through rail way with low cost. which pay more revenue. • Chittagong-Cox’s Bazar link: If Bangladesh can take strong step to set a quality railway system in Chittagong Cox’s Bazar Link then the transport system will be more efficient for Bangladesh. Dhaka.0 million. transport and portability. • • Container services: Container service facility can enhance more growth Energy Consumption: We are consuming more oil and gas for our in turnover and can be batter transport option for the business. Environmental issues can be resolved through this way. Moreover. as more than 75% foreign trade of the country is performed by Chittagong port. While Chittagong. But the we can reduce the energy consumption and can reduce pressure on budget. Railway can be the best solution to reduce pressure on the infrastructure in Bangladesh. On the other hand. having 5.05% of the total country) passenger traffic and 42 million tons freight will move in this corridor. Thus the currency rating will be facilitated and inflation will be less as the deficit will be less. low traffic jam. and has the control of the nation’s politics and economy. Finding the road is costly transport than railway. 134 million (46. • • Time Frame: Dhaka-Chittagong chord rail: At present. • Freight traffic The railway has been facing tough competition with other modes of transport for the high rated traffic. Korea.

which connects all the four major regions of the country. a total of 70.891 to the railway revenue. o Container carrier: rail has already established role as a multimodal carrier of containers in the country.247 numbers of containers were handled at Chittagong Port and Dhaka ICD which were only 15010 in 1993-94. A total of 541963 tons of different commodities were transported in those containers. which contributed a total of Tk. 374. Recommendation • The `Arterial Corridors' will be designated. • • • The two Sea Ports will be further developed and linked to Dhaka by improved railways networks. coal. iron and steel. less emission. less noise) compared to road transport.essentials. • Safest mode of transport: Land use: Land requirement for rail is 1/4th of that for road based transport system for carrying comparable volume of passenger and freight on high density intercity and intra-city corridors.441. fertilizer. Sea-borne containers coming through Chittagong port and consigned to Dhaka ICD and viceversa use single unified shipping document. cement. BR has obligation to carry essential commodities like food grains. • Container services During the year 2003-04. 6 . • Increasing Demand: Increasing demand for transport is increasing the demand for alternative way with time effectiveness. Intercity service can resolve the matter. o Alternative energy use: rail can use electrical energy obtainable from natural gas available in the country where as road vehicle would continue to depend on imported fuel. As a national carrier. Improvement in resource mobilization will be made through introduction of user charges and fees by the agencies. jute. Railway linkages between the east and west zones of the country should be well integrated. as 'Strategic Corridors' and required investment will be made for their development and to raise them to international standards so that these can carry the regional and inter-regional traffic. o Environmental consideration: rail is much more environment friendly (less pollution.

safety administration will be adequately strengthened. • Broadening the framework of transport development strategy by incorporating the vital urban transport dimension starting with improvement in transport services of greater Dhaka city will be undertaken. • Provision of required incentive packages for the private sector for greater participation. This will enhance the quality. • Assurance of deficit-free operation of Bangladesh Railway as envisaged in Railway Recovery Program will be fulfilled. The cost effectiveness can be ensured and traffic system can be batter if the development can be done. but also for infrastructure building will be made. 7 . Private sector can be encouraged. • Identification and implementation of preventive.• Improvement of the management and operation of transport parastatals. including eventual privatization of some specific transport parastatals will be aimed at. To minimize accident. • • • Government should become more concern about future opportunities. not only in transport services. • Adequate care will be taken while developing transport network and service so that these do not cause environmental pollution and affect ecological balance. emergency and post-disaster mitigation measures will be made. time effectiveness and batter option for the nation against the demand for new road. It will help develop further with faster growth. • Introduction of necessary institutional reforms to address the operational constraints of the port transit system with special reference to containers and privatization measures for port transit system will be made. Good governance can make this sector more attractive. Conclusion: Railway is a promising sector for Bangladesh to develop as a modern economy.

“Information Book”. Dhaka 3♦ Bangladesh Bureau Statistics (2001). “Statistical Year Book”.org 8 .unescap. Dhaka 2♦ Bangladesh Railway (2003).Reference: 1♦ Bangladesh Railway (2004). Railbhaban. Dhaka 4♦ http://www. “Information Book”. Railbhaban.

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