POST TIME: 5 September, 2018 00:00 00 AM
shipping safety
7 lighthouses, radio stations to be set up

7 lighthouses, 
radio stations 
to be set up

The government has decided to build seven radio stations and lighthouses at a cost of Tk. 455 crore to ensure the safety of the oceangoing ships and coastal vessels. The Department of Shipping (DoS) is executing a project— Establishment of Global Maritime Distress and Safety System and Integrated Maritime Navigation System (EGIMNS)—to set up the radio stations and lighthouses in coastal areas, shipping minister Shajahan Khan said yesterday. “The department concerned will be able to communicate with the vessels round the clock after the completion of the project. It'll help extend shipping safety and disaster management once the ultra-modern gadgets are installed,” he added.  The minister was laying the foundation stone of an 11-storey building for the DoS. Parliamentary standing committee on Estimate chairman Noor-e-Alam Chowdhury, shipping ministry secretary Abdus Samad and DoS director general Commodore Syed Ariful Haque, among others, were present at the ceremony.

A modern “command and Control centre” would be set up on the eighth floor of the proposed DoS headquarters in Agargaon, Khan said. “It’ll meet the demand of International Maritime Organisations’ Convention once the lighthouses and radio stations are in place. Besides, it’ll be possible to modernise the navigational facilities and vessel traffic management,” he added.

The lighthouses and radio stations will be set up at Dublarchar in Bagerhat, Dhalchar in Bhula, Nijhumdeep in Noakhali and Kuakata in Patuakhali. Besides, the old light houses and radio stations in Cox’s Bazar, St. Martin and Kutubdia would be modernised under the EGIMNS, enabling the extension of assistance to inland and coastal vessels.

Khan said that the project would help locate sunken vessels or those in trouble at sea. Sailors of ocean-going ships will be able to identify the shore from a distance of 200 nautical miles once the lighthouses are built. They would be able to receive and transmit messages through the radio stations, the minister added.

According to DoS sources, owners of small trawlers could set up the SSB (single-side band radio) to receive weather-related messages. Trawler owners would have to take the DoS’s permission before installing such equipment, the sources said, adding that it would enhance the security of fishermen in deep sea.