The railways ministry has directed the authorities concerned to intensify efforts to stop people from travelling on trains roofs, terming it a major reason behind fatalities and slowing down of trains during Eid rush.
Railways Minister Nurul Islam Sujan and Secretary Mofazzel Hossain on Wednesday gave the directives to Railway Nirapotta Bahini (RNB), Railway Police and relevant section of Bangladesh Railway.
“We have asked them to ensure that no one can travel on train roof,” Mofazzel Hossain told this newspaper yesterday.
Although travelling on train roof is prohibited by law, people often take the risky option, particularly during the pre-Eid home rush every year when thousands travel this way.
In many cases, the authorities are forced to slow down speed of the trains for the safety of these unauthorised passengers, the secretary said.
“Roof travelling is one sort of culture. They would not travel inside a train even though there are vacant seats. We want to stop this practice,” the secretary said.
He said there are several trains which are run by private operators, and there are allegations that they allow travelling on roof, violating their contracts with BR.
“We will take punitive action against them if they continue the malpractice,” he said.
Contracted, Iqbal Hossain, chief commandant of RNB (east), said they were preparing a work plan to stop the practice.
Terming it one of the major reasons for fatalities, he said they will take all necessary measures to stop travelling on train roof.
He said there will be an exclusive meeting on the matter on August 25 at Rail Bhaban, which will be attended by officials of all departments concerned.