11:42 AM, April 18, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:54 PM, April 18, 2018

No harmful element found in Passur water at Harbaria point: DoE

The cargo vessel that sank in the Passur river in the Sundarbans near Mongla Port. The vessel had 775 tonnes of coal in its hull when it went down on Saturday night. Star file photo

A government scientist today said that no harmful element has been found in the waters of Passur river at Harbaria point where a coal-laden vessel sank in the Sundarbans last Sunday.

The Department of Environment (DoE) scientist took sample of the water near the sunken vessel last Monday and tested it out before speaking to our Bagerhat correspondent over the issue.

“The dissolved oxygen and pH lvel of the water is the same as before. Nothing harmful has been found,” Senior Chemist Md Kamruzzaman Sarkar of the DoE said.

Meanwhile, the salvage operation of the sunken vessel is yet to start.

No probe report could be submitted yet as the necessary documents of the sunken vessel is yet to be provided, said Mahmudul Hassan, divisional forest officer of East Sundarbans.

The owning company of the vessel has not submitted the documents despite repeated requests, he said. The office will move an application to the BIWTA for necessary documents. After that, if no valid papers are found, a case will be filed against the vessel’s owning company.

Lalan Howladar, manager of MV Bilash, told The Daily Star they have struck a deal with a third party for salvage operation of the sunken vessel, and that work might start from this afternoon.

Lighterage vessel MV Bilash sank in the Sundarbans' Passur river with 775 tonnes of coal after it ran aground on the wee hours of Sunday. This was the fourth cargo of coal to sink in the mangrove forest in the last three years.