Exploring potentials of introducing sustainability in procurement of rolling stock for Bangladesh Railway
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Sustainability issues should be addressed in designing, manufacturing and vendor selection process in public transport sector. The vision of Bangladesh Railway (BR) is to provide safe, reliable, cost-effective, and time-efficient rail transport service in the country through modernizing, expanding, & maintaining rail system in a manner which supports government strategies for economic, social, & environmental development. To fulfill this vision, BR has to procure rolling stocks i.e. Locomotives, Carriages, Wagons etc. There are about 272 Locomotives, 1574 Passenger carriages and 6459 Wagons in the fleet of BR. However, most of these have passed economic life and needs to be immediately replaced. Moreover, Traffic demand for both Passenger and freight trains is increasing gradually as railway provides safer, speedier, cost-friendlier mode of transport than other road transports. For these two reasons BR is taking actions to procure various rolling stocks through different projects. Currently 07 (seven) projects are ongoing in the rolling stock department under financing of various development partners conjugating total project cost amounting of BDT 1038441.25 Lakh. The rolling stocks have an economic life of 20 (twenty) to 45 (forty five) years depending on the category. So it is vital to make the procurement judiciously and it can contribute a lot in ensuring sustainability. Hence this dissertation is focusing on the issue of sustainability in procurement of rolling stocks, by the Rolling Stock department of Bangladesh Railway. The study specifically intended to identify current level of sustainability in procurement, challenges faced in introducing sustainability and finally to suggest ways to improve the level of sustainability in procurement of Bangladesh Railway. The objectives of the study were achieved through two methods; firstly studying practical cases of procurement of rolling stocks and secondly open ended interviews with the officers of BR involved in procurement of rolling stocks along with the representatives of development partners. All of these were analyzed in the light of sustainable procurement performances. The research work identifies the level of sustainable procurement as per the flexible framework and the steps to be taken for improvement of the status. Key steps to improve sustainable procurement status involves with the preparation of sustainable procurement policy and successful implementation of the policy to embed sustainability criteria in the procurement of rolling stocks. Bangladesh Railway should give up the complacency of being an environment friendly transport system and strive towards achieving environmental, social and economical sustainability through sustainable procurement.