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Massive siltation

Karnaphuli River channel turns vulnerable

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Chittagong Bureau :
Siltation  in the river Karnaphuli extending from Sadarghat to Shah Amanat Bridge has now become a threat to the navigational channel of the country's principal sea port, Chittagong.
Despite maintenance dredging conducted last year, there are sands at several spots including the newly constructed Karnaphuli Bridge side. As a result, the port channel is under threat for rampant siltation at the river Karnaphuli now.
The Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) appointed Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) as consultant for 'Capital dredging and Bank protection with jetty facilities in Karnaphuli river from Sadarghat jetty to third Karnaphuli Bridge' earlier.
According to sources, the navigational channel from Sadarghat to Shah Amanat Bridge has been silted up severely due to the Bridge constructed at the upstream of the main installations of the Chittagong Port.
Moreover, the construction work of the much-talked  about new bridge on river Karnaphuli was completed earlier with pillars. The new bridge on river Karnaphuli is creating huge silt on the river causing threat to the navigational channel of Chittagong sea port.  
 Sources said, in this connection, CPA had conducted several surveys in the area that depicted a dangerous signal for the navigational channel of the port. The survey found that the silt in the upstream would certainly hamper the operational activities of the Chittagong Port severely. It may be mentioned that the CPA had appointed a group of experts of BUET for conducting a survey in this regard.
The fate of the project named 'Capital dredging and river  Bank protection with jetty facilities in Karnaphuli River is  uncertain now. Despite the silt hampered   the navigational channel of Chittagong port and also hampered the flow of water of river Karnaphuli, the capital dredging is yet to be completed, sources said.
Mohammad Jafar Alam,  Member of CPA told the journalists that they would have to do the dredging all over again as the work remained suspended over three years. They would take initiatives for dredging in the newly-built jetty area at Sadarghat where lighter vessel berth, he said. He also said that they also claimed Tk 178 crore as compensation from the Malaysian firm.
The CPA sources said, with the completion of the project, the operational activities of the Country's principal seaport would be geared up remarkably. Moreover, the Chittagong Port would be able to handle more vessels after completion of the dredging.

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