12:00 AM, November 26, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, November 26, 2008

20 vessels stranded in Jamuna

Fertiliser supply to northern districts affected

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Our Correspondent, Pabna

Fertiliser being unloaded from a stranded vessel at Nakalia in Jamuna River yesterday as 13 fertiliser laden ships got stuck in the area following drastic fall of water level.Photo: STAR

With receding of water in the Jamuna River, at least 20 vessels including fertiliser and fuel laden ones have remained stranded for several days at different points of Jamuna River due to navigability problem in the dry season.
This correspondent yesterday found at least 13 chemical fertiliser laden vessels stranded at Awal Bandh of Nakalia point in Jamuna River in Bera upazila under Pabna district yesterday.
Now light vessels have been employed to carry fertiliser and other goods from the stranded vessels to Baghabari port while BIWTA officials suggested that vessels carry a minimum load to avoid getting stranded.
Poor navigability in 25 kilometres area of Jamuna River from Kazirhat to Baghabari port has been hampering movement of vessels in Jamuna during the last two weeks, said sources at Baghabari port.
The navigability crisis is acute at Nakalia, Pachakola, Harirampur, Raksha, Mohonganj and Nagarbari points of Jamuna River in Bera upazila under Pabna district.
At least 9/10 metre water is needed for smooth movement of vessels but now the depth of water is below 6/7 feet at different points, Baghabari port sources said.
“MV Asar, a fuel laden vessel, came to the depot on Sunday after remaining stranded in the river for a few days. Such incidents have become a common affair at different points in Jamuna during this period due to the navigability crisis,” said a Meghna oil depot official seeking anonymity.
“We requested the vessel owners to carry not more than 6/6.5 feet draft load in this time. But the suggestion is often ignored. An official team has been sent to the spot for survey,” Md Abdur Razzak, an officer at Baghabari port, told The Daily star yesterday.
There are allegations that insufficient and faulty dredging is responsible for worsening of the navigability crisis.
BIWTA officials, however, claimed that their specialists and engineers are conducting dredging work in the proper way.

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