Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) is going to procure 55 dredgers in the coming days, aiming to increase navigability of the country's rivers and ensure smooth waterway communication.
According to an official document obtained by UNB, these 55 dredgers will be procured under two projects of the BIWTA-- Procurement of 20 dredgers and Ancillary machineries and Procurement of 35 dredgers and Ancillary Equipment and Accessories, reports UNB.
Ten dredgers under the project of 'Procurement of 20 dredgers and Ancillary machineries ' will be inducted into the fleet of BIWTA within a short time. The government undertook the project in 2015 to procure 20 dredgers and necessary equipment at the cost of Tk 2,048 crore to enable Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) to dredge 232.5 lakh cubic meters annually to ensure smooth waterway communication.
The procurement decision came in response to the "Feasibility Study of Capital Dredging and Sustainable River Management in Bangladesh (FSCD & SRMB)." The study suggested collection of some 216 cutter suction dredgers for dredging some 23 big and medium rivers.
BIWTA under the Shipping Ministry is implementing the project which will be ended in December this year. Currently, BIWTA has 35 various types of dredgers including four amphibian dredgers.
Under the 'Procurement of 35 dredgers and Ancillary Equipment and Accessories' project some 161 water vessels will also be inducted in the BIWTA fleet. The project area will cover Dhaka,Narayanganj, Manikganj, Munshiganj, Madaripur, Barishal, Bagerhat, Gaibandha, Cox's Bazar, Chandpur, Kishoreganj, Jamalpur and Sylhet districts.
The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) in October last year approved a project to procure the 35 dredgers at a cost of Tk 4,489.03 crore to maintain navigability of 100 major rivers.
The Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) under the Shipping Ministry will implement the project by June 2023. The government will implement the entire project with its own fund.
According to the Shipping Ministry, at least 1,655.10 lakh cubic meters of river routes are required to be dredged annually, while the overall dredging capacity of the country is 846.50 lakh cubic meters.
Once the project is implemented, it will be possible to meet around 70.81 percent of the annual dredging requirement of the country.The dredging would keep ferries, lunches, cargo vessels and other river vessels functional on domestic river routes round the year.
For dredging big rivers like Padma, Meghna and Jamuna dredger with 28 inch and 24 inch cutter suction is needed. For medium rivers 20 inch and 18 inch cutter suction dredge is required while for small rivers that have poor navigability need 12 inch cutter suction.
The dredging capacity of the BIWTA after procuring these dredgers and other water vessels will be increased by 325.60 lakh cubic meter per annum.Besides, the BIWTA is establishing seven dredging unit offices in different places of the country to make the dredging process more developed and dynamic. These places are--Shimulia, Barishal, Madaripur, Rampal (Khulna), Aricha, Jamalpur and Chandpur.
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