High Court wants unauthorised level-crossings removed
The High Court on Sunday issued a rule asking the government to explain as to why directives should not be given to stop the operation of the unauthorised level-crossings and install fences along the authorised ones.
The HC bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Md Mostafizur Rahman issued the rule and asked the Local Government Division secretary and other officials concerned to submit a progress report within three months.
Advocate Eklas Uddin Bhuiya stood for the petitioner while deputy attorney general AmitTalukdar represented the state.
Secretaries to the Cabinet Division, Railways Ministry, Local Government Division and Road Transport and Bridges Ministry, Director General of Bangladesh Railway and Inspector General of Police have been made respondents to the rule which is returnable in four weeks.
On November 24, Supreme Court lawyer Syeda Shahin Ara Laili filed a writ petition seeking necessary steps to remove unauthorised level-crossings.
According to the writ, there are 1,412 unauthorised level-crossings across the country.
As per the findings of Accident Research Institute (ARI) of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet), 244 people died while 228 were injured in 235 accidents on unauthorised level-crossings in 2018 while 229 people died and 155 were injured in 211 accidents in 2017.
The number of accidents in 2016 was 56 that killed 59 people and injured 46 others, according to the ARI.
Advocate Eklas said the Bangladesh Railway published a database in August last year mentioning that there are 946 unauthorised level-crossings in the country.
According to the Bangladesh Railway Act, the authorities concerned can take steps for fencing beside the level-crossings for security reason but no such measure has been taken yet in this regard, he said. -UNB