Locals formed a human chain along the platform of Gaibandha railway station yesterday demanding immediate restoration of four shut down local train services in the northern districts under Western Zone of Bangladesh Railway.
At the programme organised by Gaibandha Nagorik Parishad, the speakers urged the authorities to take immediate steps including recruitment of adequate manpower to resume operation of the closed trains and warned of greater agitation programmes including hartal otherwise.
Authorities closed operation of local 481-up and 482-down trains that had been plying Lalmonirhat-Santahar route via Gaibandha and Bogra on December 18 last year.
Earlier on August 23, 2011, the railway authorities closed up and down trains of 'Ramsagor Express' plying Bonarpara-Thakurgaon route via Gaibandha, Rangpur and Dinajpur.
Consequently, no train is available till 11:00am from Gaibandha station for going to Bogra, Rangpur, Dinajpur and other places and so, students, office staff, traders and others requiring travel in the morning are badly suffering.
People have to count extra money to travel to the places by bus.
Due to the situation, traders face problem to transport vegetables and other perishable goods from rural areas to the markets in district headquarters.
"The railway cannot run all the trains properly as a large number of posts of loco-masters and assistant loco-masters in metre gauge sections are lying vacant for long," said Abdul Hye, divisional railway manager, Lalmoirhat.
"Authorities will resume operation of all the shut down trains as soon as the vacant posts are filled up. Meantime, to overcome the problem, authorities of western railway have forwarded proposals to the Establishment division for engaging retired loco-masters on contract basis," he said.
Advocate Sirajul Islam Babu, convener of Gaibandha Nagorik Parishad, GM Chowdhury Mithu, panel mayor Gaibandha municipality, Golam Maruf Mona of Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal, and Monjur Alam Mithu of Bangladesh Samajtantrik Dal spoke in yesterday's human chain programme, among others.