Poor navigability disrupts boat movement in Brahmaputra

Published : 24 Jan 2023 08:55 PM

Boat movement in Brahmaputra river is being disrupted due to navigability crisis. Because of this, movement through river has been disrupted in Kurigram, Chilmari Port, Fakir Hat, Roumari Ladghat, Kartimari, Baldmara, Ghughumari, Khewarchar, Rajibpur Ladghat, Mohanganj, Kondalkati and Nayarchar. Due to this, the passengers traveling by sea have suffered greatly. Passengers and boatmen have expressed their anger as the concerned department has not taken any initiative to overcome the navigability crisis for the past one and a half months.

On Tuesday morning at around 10:30 am, it was found that the movement of goods and passenger boats is being disrupted due to the sand filling the Brahmaputra river. Since one and a half month, passenger boats are not able to go from Baldmara Boat Wharf to Fakir Hat Boat Wharf due to low water in the river. Boats with passengers are moving in the stream of small water flowing in the river. It takes twice as much time to reach Chilmari boat ghat from various boat terminals in Roumari. On the other hand, with little water, this boat is sometimes blocked by sand. As a result, the risk of life of passengers is also increasing. It is not possible to carry sand and stones for river bank conservation work due to non-moving boats.

Samejuddin, a boatman, said that it takes about three hours to go by boat from Falluarchar and Baldmara to Fakirerhat Ghat, earlier it used to take one hour, it takes more time because there is no water. If the boat gets stuck in the river, the whole day is over, the passengers are stranded, our river business day is over.

Boatman Nilchan Maker said, we used to go to Fakir Ghat within an hour from Baldmara Ghat. Due to winter fog and low water in the river, many boatmen get stranded and it takes a long time to reach other terminals.

  Ripon Mia said, I used to reach Kurigram Court by 10 am from Kartimari Ghat and come back home after attending court, but now I leave home in the morning because there is no water in the river, it is 12 o'clock to reach Kurigram. Because of this, the people of Roumari and Rajibpur upazilas are suffering.

Zahidul Islam Zahid, a stone trader, said that due to the decrease in Brahmaputra river and numerous small chars rising on the river bed, the cargo boats do not come to Roumari and Baldmara ghats. Goods from Fakir Hat, Chilmari, Kurigram Boat Wharf cannot be brought to Roumari by sea. Because of this, traders are facing losses. If the waterway is not made operational by dredging the river on an urgent basis, business and passenger crossing will be stopped on the waterway.

Saiful Islam, a local businessman, said that the distance of waterways has increased due to the navigability crisis. Cost and time are also high. We are not able to take the product to market on time. Business is going through bad times. Roumari, Char Rajibpur Lodghat lessee. Shafiul Alam said, due to the crisis of navigation, our income has decreased a lot. As the water in the river recedes and creates a flood, navigation is disrupted in some unions of Ulipur upazila along with Roumari and Rajivpur upazilas along with Chilmari, Fakir Hat, Kurigram Naughat. If effective measures are not taken by dredging the waterway to eliminate the navigability crisis, there is a possibility that the waterway will be closed.

Abdullah Al Mamun, executive engineer of Kurigram Water Development Board, said that the flow of water in the river is being obstructed due to small chars in the river. Because of this, there is a crisis of marriage. But we are not in charge of river dredging, that is the responsibility of other departments.