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19 November, 2017 12:48:18 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 20 November, 2017 09:25:22 AM
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Key river-route dredging yet to begin

ANISUR RAHMAN KHAN
Key river-route dredging yet to begin

Even five months after the allocation of funds, dredging of the Hazratpur-Zabra-Ghior river routes is yet to begin. Yet, the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) has issued only a show-cause notice against the dredging company instead of taking strong action against it.

According to sources, the BIWTA awarded Tk. 43.61 crore for the dredging of the Dhaleswari-Kaliganga rivers to the private company JDECL-SSRI JV on June 1. But they failed to begin the work due to unknown reasons.

The main objective of the project, which was taken up under the ‘53 important river-route capital dredging project’, was to connect the Narayanganj port via the Manikganj, Nababganj, and Keraniganj river ports.

Owing to the inefficiency of the dredging company, the concerned section of the BIWTA is worried that it will not be possible to restore the route within the stipulated period.

According to BIWTA sources, considering the importance of the river routes, the authority should cancel the existing work order and retender the project, as the company has failed to implement the work order in proper time.

A total of 32 lakh cubic metre of silt will be removed to restore the Hazratpur-Zabra river routes, according to the project profile.

“Owing to local problems, the dredging company failed to continue the work. We have already issued a show-cause notice to against it,” Rakibul Islam Talukder, additional chief engineer of BIWTA and also the project director, told this correspondent yesterday.

On being asked why they were not considering retendering the project, he said, “We have given some time to the company. If it fails again, we will cancel the order.” Two years would be needed to complete the total dredging work, he added.

“Once the project is fully implemented, it would help connect Manikganj, Nababganj, Keraniganj, and Narayanganj via Dhaka’s river ports. Cargo and passenger vessels could ply directly via these river routes,” he said in reply to a query.

He further pointed out that farmers could use the river for irrigation around the year, which would help increase food production. “Fishermen can catch fish and small farmers can rear ducks once the rivers are dredged. The socio-economic situation of these areas will improve once the river routes are restored,” Talukder observed.

People used the Hazratpur-Zabra river routes with ease during the ’70s, but now it goes dry during the dry season, he said. Many trading centres, markets, and local ‘haats’ exist on these river routes—for example, at Paragram, Baruria, Beutha, Ghior, and Zilanda. These trading centres will again come alive once the river routes are dredged.

The depth of the river route will be 10 feet so that water vessels can ply round the year, Talukder said in reply to a query. People will be able to carry their goods via the Hazratpur-Zabra river routes of the Dhaleswari and Kaliganga around the year once the dredging is done.

IK

 

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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