Bangladesh Railway is yet to resume its Diesel Electrical Multiple Unit railcar commuter service between Dhaka and Narayanganj. The DEMU railcar service remained suspended since Thursday, a day after its inauguration as 20 passengers fell sick at Chashara railway station due to suffocation. BR replaced the local train service between Dhaka and Narayganj with the DEMU railcar commuter service on Wednesday.
Due to excessive passengers some of them fell sick, railway minister Mohammad Mazibul Hoque admitted on Saturday.
The minister said, if 1,200 passengers board six carriages of the DEMU railcar meant for 600 passengers, obviously some of them would fall sick.
Chinese experts are working to keep the railcar’s windows fully open, he said.
Usually, he said, the windows are half open.
Kamalapur railway station manager Mohammad Khairul Bashar told New Age that after the inauguration the service was suspended as he received no fresh operating schedules.
But the chief operating officer (East) of BR in a letter issued on April 24 had asked the station officials to resume DEMU railcar service from Thursday.
‘We expect to resume the service today (Saturday) or tomorrow,’ the minister said.
Until 6 PM on Saturday the service was not resumed, Kamalapur railway station manager told New Age.
The DEMU railcar commuter service was opened with a plan to run 32 trips, up and down, between Dhaka and Narayanganj each day.
Earlier, BR used local trains to operate 28 trips, up and down, between the two pints each day.
BR fixed one-way fare per passenger at Tk 15 for the 40 minute journey.
The Chinese built DEMU railcar, with two engines at both ends, cost Tk 20 crore, provides comfortable space for 300 passengers – 149 seating and 151 standing.
Bangladesh Railway increased its passenger carrying capacity by joining two carriages, said officials.
The railcar’s 460-horsepower engine has a maximum speed of 80 kilometres per hour, they said.
China’s Tangshan Railway Vehicle Company Limited won the supply contact.
A multiple unit railcar, DEMU consists of self-propelled carriages powered by on-board diesel engines.
-With New Age input