Half of MPA vessels | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 23, 2011 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, October 23, 2011

Half of MPA vessels

Poor maintenance blamed

Sixteen out of 29 water transports belonging to Mongla Port Authority (MPA) have become unfit for safe movement due to lack of proper maintenance, port sources said.
Condition of five out of the 16 unfit water transports is very bad. Officials and employees of the port authority move amid high risk while using these unfit vessels, they said.
According to marine department sources, there are 25 boats and four water carrying barges under control of Mongla Port Authority each of which is not less than 25 to 30 years old.
Three out of 25 boats are over 60 years old. None of these water transports were maintained properly or sent for repair work to keep them fit for plying without any risk.
Sources at marine department of MPA further said that water transports Sharathi-1, Meghdut and Balaka may face serious accident and capsize in the river any time as they have developed many defects.
As for instance, ML Chalna Pilot-1, one of the 25 boats of the port authority, capsized on last August 30 as it developed big cracks due to furious cross current of the Passur River.
Earlier on May 19 this year, a similar incident occurred as MT Usha capsized in Nilkamol canal near Hiron point developing big cracks at the time of movement.
Contacted, chief engineer (marine) Md Altaf Hossain told this correspondent that Mongla Port Authority could not arrange fund to repair these outdated boats and barges.
"We shall try our best to repair these boats and barges and purchase two new boats soon to cope with the situation", he said.

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