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25 April, 2018 12:01:49 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 25 April, 2018 12:11:54 PM
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Low bridges continue to hit vessel movement

“Even the Prime Minister’s directive to reconstruct 14 low-height bridges on Balu, Turag, Buriganga, Pungli and Bongshi rivers remains ignored”
ANISUR RAHMAN KHAN
Low bridges continue to hit vessel movement

The movement of vessels on waterways, including those around the city, is being hampered due to construction of low-height bridges over them in different places of the country. Different government agencies, such as the local government engineering department (LGED) and the roads department, do not bother to take approval from the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) prior to finalising projects to build such bridges over any river, sources said.

Even Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s directive in this regard is being ignored by the authorities concerned, the sources added. On July 27, 2014, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina directed the authorities concerned to reconstruct or re-install 14 low bridges on the Balu, Turag, Buriganga, Pungli and Bongshi rivers without delay to make viable the circular waterway route around the city.

“It's stated in the rules that a department concerned has to take permission from the BIWTA to construct any bridge over the rivers. But many departments do not follow the rules properly and come knocking at the BIWTA's door for permission only after finalisation of their projects,” Rafiqul Islam, additional chief engineer (port) of BIWTA, told this correspondent.

He alleged that those departments always cited the cost factor for their inability to revise their approved DPP to construct low-height bridges according to the design provided by the BIWTA. “Owing to non-execution of construction rules over the rivers, the ways to use them are getting limited,” Islam said in reply to a query.

When asked about the Prime Minister’s directive on the reconstruction of 14 low-height bridge around the city rivers, the BIWTA official said there was no update in this regard.

However, Abul Kashem Bhuiyan, additional chief engineer (planning and maintenance wing Dhaka zone) of the roads and highways department, claimed that bridges were being constructed after taking permission from the BIWTA.

When asked about the low-height bridges in Ashulia, Bhuiyan said: “We've one low-height bridge in Ashulia’s Dour. A development project profile (DPP) for its reconstruction is under process. The bridge will be reconstructed soon after getting the final approval.”

The LGED had constructed bridges over the rivers only after receiving verbal clearance from the BIWTA, Kholilur Rahman, additional chief engineer (implementation) of the LGED, told The Independent. “Im truth, permission was sought from the BIWTA after final approval of the DPP. But the BIWTA’s allegation that no permission had been sought is certainly not true,” he said.

Earlier, the BIWTA had identified 14 low

bridges between Ashulia and Kanchpur that are major obstacles to the circular waterways. They include the Ashulia Dour Bridge, Kamarpara Bridge, Tongi Bridge, Tongi Railway Bridges I and II, and the Birulia Bridge on the Turag.  

The Circular Waterways Phase-2 in the capital was completed on June 30, 2013 at a cost of Tk. 65 crore, but the waterways around Dhaka are yet to become fully functional due to these low-height bridges.

SR

 

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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.
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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.

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