Karnaphuli dredging soon | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 29, 2011 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, April 29, 2011

Karnaphuli dredging soon

Tk 229cr project agreement signed

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Land grabbers have set up tin-roofed houses on a char in the Karnaphuli river in Chittagong. Lack of large-scale dredging has led to the surfacing of such large chars in the river. Photo: Anurup Kanti Das

The long-expected capital dredging of the river Karnaphuli and construction of a 2.6 kilometre-long road along its bank begin soon to improve the navigability of the river and resolve water-logging in the port city.
The government entered an agreement here yesterday with Malaysian Maritime and Dredging Corporation (MMDC) to implement a 229.54 crore project in this regard.
Once implemented in its scheduled 600 days, the project would increase the depth and width of the Karnaphuli, hoped Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan, chief guest at the signing ceremony.
It would also reduce the congestion of vessels significantly at the river channel stretching from Sadarghat to Banglabazar and also in the river mouth, added the minister.
As per the project profile, around 2 km bed of the river stretching from Sadarghat jetty to some 500 metre off 3rd Karnaphuli Bridge would be dredged.
Besides, a 2615 metre-long road and a 400-metre jetty would be built along the left bank of the river stretching from Sadarghat to 2.6 km of the river upstream, said Project Director Khademul Bashar.
Sources said building of illegal structures along the river bank, disposal of city's waste through different canals, construction of Shah Amanat Bridge in the river upstream in 1991 worsened the navigability.
Massive siltation in the river upstream posed a threat to the movement of inland water transports.
“With the decreasing navigability of Karnaphuli, it has become difficult for lighter vessels to access the lighterage jetties in the river upstream,” said Abul Bashar Chowdhury, chairman of BSM Group, one of the leading importers of essential commodities.
He hoped the situation would improve after completion of the dredging.
Chairman of Chittagong Port Authority Commodore M Anwarul Islam and MMDC Corporate Director Dato HJ Abdul Rahman HJ Mohd Nur signed the deal on behalf of the respective sides.
Chittagong City Corporation (CPA) Mayor M Monjurul Alam, former mayor ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury, Awami League lawmaker Shamsul Haque and senior officials of CPA were present at the agreement signing ceremony held at the CPA training centre.

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