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Monday, February 10, 2020 11:41:03 PM
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Riverine routes will also reduce dependency on road transportation

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11th-Feb-2020       
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THE government has taken a dredging master plan to make 10,000 kilometres of internal waterways navigable by digging 178 rivers. State Minister for the Ministry concerned told Parliament that Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority would do the excavation under the plan. Navigability of old Brahmaputra, Dharla, Tulai and Punarvaba rivers would be restored and the navigability along the river route from Mongla Port to Pakshi via Chandpur, Mawa and Goalando would be increased. The BIWTA has taken the excavation project along 12 important river routes, and capital dredging project along 53 river routes. The length of the inland river route is about 6,000 kilometres during the dry season and the length becomes about 24,000 kilometres during the rainy season. The funds are jointly provided by the governments of Bangladesh and India while the excavation of 470 kilometres of river routes under the Bangladesh-India river protocol has already begun.
Dredging, believed to be the only solution to bring navigability in the water bodies, especially in the river channels, has for long been termed a happy hunting ground for a section of people resulting in misery of the millions. In many cases, it has been observed that due to poor quality  work or work not done, the same job has to be done all over again within a short time. As a result, it has become a repetitive and seasonal activity. In fact, this constitutes the often-alleged main 'problem' with dredging in the country. Clearly, a manmade problem has grown out of decades of malpractices and incompetence. It must be addressed squarely through maintaining strict accountability. In order to be able to draw tangible benefits from dredging, the government must work out a policy to facilitate the activity in a systematic and transparent manner.
Riverine routes could be the most vital part of the country's economy capable of getting huge  revenues if these are properly maintained.

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