Shela ban is permanent | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 24, 2016 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:53 AM, March 24, 2016

Shela ban is permanent

Says shipping minister

The government has imposed a permanent ban on the plying of all types of vessels through the Shela river in the Sundarbans, amid concern over frequent incidents of vessel capsize in the river.

The sinking a cargo vessel with around 1,235 tonnes of coal on board prompted the government to take the decision, Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan said yesterday.

He was talking to reporters at the secretariat after the 31st meeting with the task force on maintaining navigability of some important rivers, including the Buriganga, Shitalakhya, Turag and Balu.

Shajahan said the decision was taken for the sake of environment and biodiversity of the Sundarbans.

He said the original channel of the Buriganga river would be detected to decide on its boundaries.

After the recovery of the grabbed portions of the river, a project like Hatirjheel would be implemented with a view to increasing its riverside beauty.

He also said the government had taken short-, mid- and long-term plans to make the four rivers -- Buriganga, Shitalakhya, Balu and Turag -- surrounding the capital pollution free.

Bangladesh Navy would prepare a concept paper to implement the three plans, said the minister.

Some 4,063 pillars, out of some 6,883 pillars, had been set up on different points of the Buriganga river, while some 5,041 pillars would be installed in Narayanganj, he said.

Mobile courts would also work along the riversides to check the incidents of pillar uprooting, he added.

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