Ctg river police hurdled by manpower, logistics crises
Activities of river police in Chattogram region are being severely hampered due lack of manpower and water vessels.
The jurisdiction of river police in Chattogram starts from the estuary of Karnaphuli to Kaptai-Rangamati-Bandarban. Apart from that, Noakhali's Hatiya, Nijhum Dwip (island) and Tekfnaf are under the unit's jurisdiction.
Under the river police, there is a police station in port city's Sadarghat area and seven outposts located in the above-mentioned places, said officials.
However, the unit has only two speedboats -- one in Chattogram Sadarghat River Police Station and another in Rangamati district -- to cover such a massive area, they said. As a result, patrolling activities have been seriously hampered.
With the help of these two water transports, they are conducting operational and supervising duties in Karnaphuli and Halda rivers, and Rangamati.
Wishing anonymity, an official said they had two more speedboats, one in Hatiya and another in Nijhum Dwip, but those have been out of order for a long time.
Currently, Sadarghat River Police Station and the office of superintendent of river police are conducting their respective operations renting two floors from Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation building at Sadarghat.
In addition, the seven outposts are also located in rented buildings.
River police in Chattogram are also facing vehicle shortage. There are three vehicles assigned for SP, additional SP and assistant SP offices but Sadarghat River Police Station has no transport facilities.
Mohammad Mominul Islam Bhuiya, SP of Chattogram river police, admitted the crises. "Our forces have been patrolling in the river and conducting operational activities against criminals and smugglers with only two speedboats."
"It's not easy to do so in the river, especially in remote areas without having our own transport. Sometimes, we have to rent trawlers to go to the spots. We have already informed the headquarters in this regard," the SP added.
Mominul said a letter was sent to the ministry via police headquarters in 2019 over buying land for SP office and police station but there is no update on it due to the ongoing pandemic.
Around 150 police personnel are working under river police in Chattogram region. Of them, 20 are assigned to Sadarghat River Police Station and 15 to Rangamati outpost.
The other outposts have 10 to 12 personnel each.
River police also works in coordination with the Fisheries and Livestock Department, water Resources ministry, shipping ministry and Department of Environment.
Its additional SP Kirtiman Chakma said during peak seasons (like ban on fishing), they struggle more with the persisting crises.
A 65-day ban on fishing at sea is ongoing from the midnight of May 20 to July 23, covering up to 200 nautical miles along the coast under 14 districts, he added.