Dredging of 24 rivers to begin in June
DHAKA, Apr 9 (BSS) – The government will start dredging of 24 rivers in June this year in the first phase with public and private dredgers as part of its capital dredging campaign.
The shipping ministry and the water resources ministry have jointly taken the initiative for the first time in the country to dredge 53 rivers under the mega plan, Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan told BSS.
An inter-ministerial meeting with Planning Minister AK Khandakar in the chair recently finalized a guideline for implementation of the river dredging plan.
The shipping minister said, besides 27 dredgers of the shipping ministry and 37 dredgers of the water resources ministry, 14 private dredgers would also be used in dredging. Moreover, the water resources ministry has given approval to procure 12 more dredgers.
The first-phase river dredging will begin in June with 10 dredgers of the shipping ministry and 14 private dredgers.
The 24 river routes to be dredged in the first phase are: Dhaka-Hizla-Barisal, Chandpur-Munshiganj-Barisal, Roymangal- Chalna-Mongla, Barisal-Chandpur-Bhola, Chandpur-Nandirbazar-Shikarpur, Jukirkanda-Banaripara, Swarupkathi-Hularhat, Gazaria- Bhoirab, Sherpur-Zakiganj, Aricha-Baghabari, Loargar-Durgapur, Chitra-Nabinagar, Narsingdi-Fatiadi, Munshiganj-Narayanganj- Demra, Barisal- Jhalokathi-Barguna, Khulna-Kazihat, Nandibazar- Madaripur- Tekerhat-Gopalganj-Mankoha, Mirpur-Rustampur- Kaliakoir, Sripur-Bhola-Kazirhat-Gongapur-Bhola, Rajbari-Faridpur- Magura-Gopalganj and four more river routes.
Shipping Secretary Abdul Mannan Hawladar said three new dredgers named ‘Karnafuli Voster’ will be added to the fleet of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC) in May this year.
He said four dredgers will be procured under Indian credit programme and four more dredgers are expected to be available as donation from Kuwait within 2011.
He said the Water Development Board and the shipping ministry will spend Taka 4,389.56 crore for the dredging of 24 rivers till 2013.
BIWTA Chairman Abdul Malek Mian said tenders would be invited within 15 days to procure new dredgers and other equipments.
BIWTA Dredger Wing Chief Engineer Abdul Matin said as per the 2009 master plan study, there is a requirement of dredging 180 lakh cubic feet annually. But only 20 lakh cubic could be dredged with the existing dredgers of the government.
Therefore, the government has taken the initiatives to procure new dredgers to dredge the rivers to maintain navigability in the rivers.
Once the country had 24,000 kilometers river route, which has now reduced to 5,000 kilometers only. Rivers are being silted up every year and the adjoining areas are being flooded during the monsoon.