Govt moves to boost Dhaka-Ctg river route
The shipping ministry is conducting a study on improving Dhaka-Chittagong river route in an effort to increase passenger and freight transport through the corridor.
Dredging of 40 kilometres of waterways may start in March, while six vessel shelters will be built and 14 existing terminals will be upgraded.
The World Bank has proposed to provide $330 million for the project.
The plans were discussed at a workshop on “environmental and social impact assessment study of Dhaka-Chittagong inland water transport corridor projects” at Cirdap auditorium in Dhaka yesterday.
Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority and the Institute of Water Modelling jointly organised the workshop.
Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan said around two lakh passengers travel daily on the Dhaka-Chittagong corridor and the adjoining routes.
“The route is important as goods of local businesses and transit trade under protocol on inland water transport between Bangladesh and India are carried through it.”
He said growth of international seaborne trade will largely depend on the Dhaka-Chittagong route.
The minister said the government will buy 20 dredgers at a cost of Tk 2,048 crore to increase navigability of the river routes.
Around 6,000 kilometres remain navigable during monsoon, but it shrinks to about 3,900 kilometres in the dry season, he said.
If the routes are revived, this will have a positive impact on employment generation, he said, adding: “Safe, reliable and faster communication will be developed.”
The project aims to pilot a new approach to maintenance of the Dhaka-Chittagong corridor, two key connecting routes and construction and maintenance of six vessel shelters for use during cyclones or storms.
The project will increase capacity, reliability and safety of inland water transport along the Dhaka-Chittagong corridor.
The government has identified 65 main river navigation routes that are essential for passengers and freight transport within the country.
The Dhaka-Chittagong corridor helps transport about 80 percent of all inland water traffic.