The workers at Saidpur Railway Workshop in Nilphamari district are unusually busy this year ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr as they are racing to finish 50 new compartments that will be pressed into operation during the holidays to ensure smooth travels for the homebound people.
Rail communication is an important way to keep the country of over 170 million moving, especially when it comes to inter-district travel that peaks during the Eid holidays.
The workers have been working round-the-clock to meet their target. Besides, the authorities concerned also cancelled leave of the workers to ensure they finish the task.
During a recent visit to the GOH, production machine shop, carriage shop, wheel shop, bogie shop and CHR shop of the factory, the workers were found toiling relentlessly.
They joined their workplace at around 7:00am and finished their work around 5:00pm in 24 departments of the factory.
Some were seen busy colouring the bogies, some in making bogies, some making parts, some repairing wheels, some doing work with welding machines and some were seen repairing seats of the coaches.
Already 30 bogies have been handed over to Bangladesh Railway’s Paksey and Lalmonirhat divisions.
All the workers were working enthusiastically. Rezaul Islam, a worker of production machine shop, said “We joined at work around 7:00am and left the place around 5:00pm and during this period we get only 30 minutes break. But we are happy. Generally, the working time here is from 7:00am to 4:00pm but we are working here till 5:00pm to finish our work in time.”
Iskandar Ali, another worker in the department, said “Every year we face additional pressure ahead of Eid and we build bogies as many people go their village homes during Eid.”
Mentioning the workforce crisis, Iskandar said there is a need for 300 workers but only 50 people are working here.
Ilias Hossain, a worker of a wheel shop, said in general they used to produce 2/3 wheels in a day but now they have to build five wheels in a day.
Senior Assistant Engineer Arifur Rahman, in-charge of COH shop, said 50 coaches, each coach containing 100 seats, will be added in different inter-city trains to ensure smooth railway services for homebound passengers.
Besides, abandoned coaches were also repaired at the shop to make them reusable.
Authorities concerned of the overall workshop said the workshop is running with just over 30 per cent manpower as 1337 workers are working instead of 3841 workers.
Jahangir Alam, in-charge of the Production machine shop, said the manpower crisis is the main crisis at the workshop.
Sadequr Rahman, the divisional caretaker of Saidpur workshop, said “Already 30 coaches have been handed over to Paksey and Lalmonirhat divisions and the work of 20 coaches is going on in full swing.”
Currently, all occasional leaves of the employees and workers have been cancelled to fulfil the desired target and all the coaches will be attached to the inter-city trains under Railway East and West divisions on time, he said.