Half of the 12 waterways excavated under a development project have already been abandoned due to the lack of necessary navigability, according to a report of Shipping and Communication Reporters Forum.
The organisation on Tuesday revealed the summary of the report through a press release.
The dredging department of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority implemented the project at a cost of Tk 508.46 crore.
SCRF’s report said that the main objective of the project was to improve the navigability of 12 waterways by dredging 316 lakh cubic meters to ensure smooth and safe movement of passenger and cargo vessels. The implementation period of the project was from October 2011 to June 2015.
According to the report, necessary excavation was not done during the implementation of the project and navigability was not maintained by regular removal of silts. As a result, half of the waterways have been abandoned, said the release.
According to SCRF, the report was prepared after reviewing the information published in various media from July 2021 to June 2023, talking to water vessel owners, workers, green activists and authorities concerned, including the shipping experts. However, BIWTA did not provide any information officially, SCRF said.
A letter was sent to the dredging department of the organisation seeking necessary information but it has not respond even after two months, the report added.
The waterways under the ’12 waterways excavation’ project are:- Dhaka-Taltala-Dahuri-Jazira-Madaripur, Laharhat-Veduria, Saheberhat-Tungibari-Laharhat, Sadarghat-Birulia, Paturia-Baghabari, Demra-Ghorashal-Palash, Dhaka-Ramchar-Madaripur. , Dhaka-Shariatpur, Chandpur-Nandir Bazar-Shikarpur-Hularhat, Hularhat-Charchapil-Gopalganj, Narayanganj-Daudkandi and Dhaka-Sureshwar-Angaria-Madaripur.
However, among these, Sadarghat-Birulia, Demra-Ghorashal-Palash, Hularhat-Charchapil-Gopalganj and Narayanganj-Daudkandi waterways have been virtually abandoned, the report states.
Besides, due to the navigability crisis, the navigation of several other waterways has been stopped from the beginning to the end.
SCRF also said in the report that due to the lack of transparency and accountability of the authorities concerned, proper excavation of rivers and dredging of waterways are not being maintained.