Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan yesterday said plying of all types of vessels through the Shela river in the Sundarbans could be stopped permanently from June.
Speaking at a programme in Sylhet's Tamabil, the shipping minister said, “Operation of vessels through the Mongla-Ghashiakhali channel has started from last Thursday on an experimental basis. This will continue until the end of this month. If this experiment is successful, the operation through the Shela river will be stopped permanently.”
Minister Shajahan said the ecology of the Sundarbans would improve once the government stopped plying of all kind of cargo vessels through the Shela river.
The minister's announcement came four days after a fertilizer-carrying cargo vessel capsized in the Bhola river at Sarankhola range in the Sundarbans.
Although four days have elapsed, the authorities are yet to salvage the vessel.
On December 9 last year, an oil tanker had sunk in the Shela river and spilled around 3.58 lakh litres of furnace oil in the river, posing a threat to the forest environment.
Since then, the government has been dredging the Mongla-Ghasiakhali channel to revive the original route to go to the Mongla port.