At least 19 cargo ships carrying goods remained stranded by being struck in shallow, sub-merged Charland in the Padma-Jamuna rivers due to lack of navigability. Till Monday last, those cargo ships remained stranded at Rajdhardia, Char Sibalya and Nakalichar of the rivers, three kilometres down streams of Kajirhat.
Kajirhat Ghat authorities in Pabna informed, 19 cargo ships carrying fuel, fertiliser, coal, wheat and rice from Chittagong, Narayanganj and Mongla ports remained stranded by being struck in submerged chars in Rajdhardia, Char Sibalaya and Nakalichar. Those cargoes were heading for Baghabari ghat.
Local people and traders, however, complained due to indiscriminate excavation of sand through a dozen of dredgers in 22-kilometre areas from Mohanganj to Kazirhat, many sub-merged char strips are being created in the shallow water of the rivers.
Baghabari river port sources informed Doulatdia-Bagahabri riverine route is an important route to carry goods to 16 northern districts through river cargoes. Nearly 90 per cent of required fertiliser and fuel of the northern region are supplied through Baghabari port at the same time rice, wheat and other consumer items from the northern region are supplied to various places including in Dhaka and Narayanganj through Baghabari ghat. The navigability crisis turned acute at six points of the riverine route.
BCIC Bogura region office sources informed, around 12 lakh metric tonnes of chemical fertiliser required for irri-boro cultivation of the northern region are supplied through Baghabari ghat.
A source in BIWTA, Aricha office informed, at least 10 to 11 feet depth of water is required for moving a cargo carrying goods but the average depth of the river is now 8 to 9 feet which are apprehended to go be 7 to 8 feet withing next two week. Baghabari port authorities have sent a letter to the dredging section of BIWTA to dredge the river routes as soon as possible.
Jahir Uddin, Master of M.V. Bijoy cargo ship informed, in six points of the 45-kilometre Douatdia-Baghabari riverine route depth of water turns as shallow as 7 to 9 feet, the channels have become narrow and hazardous for movement of cargo ships. The movement of the cargoes would snap at any moment through the routes unless no dredging is done in the channels.