Dhaka-Barishal waterway becomes risky for navigability crisis


Barishal Correspondent :

As the navigability crisis is making Dhaka-Barishal waterway traffic risky and time wasting, experts suggested capital dredging round the year in two places of Meghna and Ghazaria rivers. At the beginning of the dry season, there has been a navigability crisis in the Barishal-Dhaka waterway.
Especially in two places of Meghna and Ghazaria rivers of the route, the water is going to the bottom during low tide. As a result, passenger launches and cargo ships have to be anchored and wait for high tide.
Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) Barishal station inspector Zulfikar Ali acknowledging the fact said that the masters of MV Suvoraj-9, Adventure-1 and Surovi-7 launches plying on Barishal-Dhaka-Barishal route have complained that due to lack of sufficient depth of water , the launches have to beanchored on the river-route at different spots during low tide for a long time.
Alam Hossain, master of MV Sundarban-15 launch, said in dry season, there has been a navigable crisis in two places of Meghna and Ghazaria rivers on about three kilometers area on the route.
Oneof the spot is one kilometer from Bagarjato Bamnir Char near Ghazariaunder Mehendiganj upazila of Barishal district. Water transports can run here during high tide but it is difficult to ply those during low tide.
The depth of water decreases to 3-4 feet during low tide. However, a depth of at least 5 feet is required for plying passenger carrying and 7 feet for plying cargo vessels.
Apart from this, there is a navigability crisis for two kilometers area on the branches Meghnafrom Hijla to Babuganjof Barishalafter crossing Chandpur riverport point. As there is no dredging now, the deep water decreases to 4-feet during low tide and so passenger carrying water transports and cargo ships often get stuck there or to wait for log time for high-tide.
Launch master Alam Hossain further said, we have informed the owner of the water transports about the situation. He discussed the matter with the concerned state minister.
Several Masters (captains) of the passenger carrying water transports also said there is a navigability crisis in Barishal river port as well.
Although there is maintenance dredging activities going on here, but every year due to unplanned maintenance dredging instead of planned capital dredging, the operation of water transports, the cheapest way for carrying passengers and goods, have to suffer a lot.
When asked about this, BIWTA Barishal station Assistant Director (Acting) Riyad Hossain said that before dredging, they wrote a letter to the Water Taranport Owners Association. Their proposals are sent to dredging section of the ministry for excavation at their selected site.
If navigability crisis deepen on any route and a new navigability crisis created in all those places, then action will be taken by sending demands to the dredging section, the BIWTA official added.
Saidur Rahman Rintu, director of Sundarbon Navigation and the central vice president of the Launch Owners Association, said on February 18, a meeting of the launch owners was held at the Secretariat under the chairmanship of State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury.
There, the state minister was informed about the navigability crisis in the Dhaka-Barishal route and was urged to excavate quickly. The state minister has assured to take action for dredging in this regard, Rintu added.