Move to restore navigability of 100 major rivers

ECNEC approves a project to procure 35 dredgers

Published: October 23, 2018 17:31:40 | Updated: November 04, 2018 21:35:06

-Focus Bangla photo

The government plans to procure some 35 dredgers involving Taka 44.89 billion to restore navigability of 100 major rivers across the country.

The Executive Committee of the National Economic (ECNEC) approved a project on Tuesday in this regard.

The approval came from the 11th ECNEC meeting of the current fiscal year held at the NEC conference room in the city’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area.

ECNEC Chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina presided over the meeting, reports BSS.

Briefing the reporters after the meeting, Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) under the Ministry of Shipping will implement the project by June 2023.

The government would provide the entire project fund from its own resources, the minister informed.

He said the dredgers would be procured along with ancillary equipment to dredge some 8,000 kilometres in 100 rivers across the country.

"The dredging would keep ferries, lunches, cargo vessels and other river vessels functional on domestic river routes round the year," he added.

According to the Ministry of Shipping, the BIWTA currently has 25 dredgers with an annual dredging capacity of 11.4 million cubic metres while 10 more dredgers are expected to join its fleet under an ongoing project.

With the additional dredgers, the BIWTA will be able to dredge 34.7 million cubic metres in 2019.

The project area will cover Dhaka, Narayanganj, Manikganj, Munshiganj, Madaripur, Barishal, Bagerhat, Gaibandha, Cox’s Bazar, Chandpur, Kishoreganj, Jamalpur and Sylhet districts.

Once the project is implemented, it will be possible to meet around 70.81 per cent of the annual dredging capacity of the country.

The minister said a total of 21 projects were approved on Tuesday's meeting involving an overall estimated cost of Taka 197.79 billion.

“Among the total project cost, Taka 173.17 billion will come from the Government of Bangladesh portion, Taka 2.34 billion will from the organisation’s own fund and the rest of Taka 22.28 billion will be collected as project assistance,” he said.

He also informed that 19 projects, out of the approved 21 projects, are new while the rest of two are revised projects.

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