Of the 62 rivers in Barishal division, one-fourth have lost navigability forcing water vessel owners to suspend operations in and around 460km of 27 waterways.
A survey of Center for Environmental and Geographic Information Services (CEGIS) revealed this today.
The survey titled 'The feasibility of river management by increasing the navigability of rivers in Barisal division, reducing waterlogging, restoring wetland ecosystems, increasing irrigation and landing facilities' was presented at a programme organised by Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA).
While presenting the survey, Mizanur Rahman, a river morphologist and research associate at CEGIS, said there was a total of 1475km waterway in 62 rivers in Barishal division. Of these, 460km of 27 rivers have already lost their navigability.
The study noted that the country's rivers are filling up due to siltation and river erosion from the upper stream and recommended dredging after conducting a comprehensive survey on its conservation.
The river expert recommended 4.2 million cubic meters of capital dredging and 170 million cubic meters for maintaining dredging conservation.
In the discussion, experts suggested that dredging would increase irrigation and flourish tourism.
State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury was present at the programme as the chief guest who said, 10,000km of waterways would be preserved in the country.
Transportation of goods by river is easy and ''If the country's rivers lose their navigability, the sea ports will be weakened," he said.
In the programme, environmentalists, civil society members and journalists called for the eviction of illegal occupants and not to dump silt during dredging activities in the river.
Owners of water vessels present in the program urged to continue dredging programme round the year.
Divisional Commissioner Dr Amitabh Sarkar presided over the programme where BIWTA Chairman Commodore Golam Sadeq, Barishal City Corporation Mayor Serniabat Sadeq Abdullah, and River Dredging Specialist Fida Ali spoke the programme among others.