Dredging work of 25-kilometre of the lower channel in the Meghna River has begun to speed up the journey of launches on the Dhaka-Lakshmipur route and ferry services on the Bhola-Lakshmipur route.
Once the dredging is complete, the distance of both the river routes will be reduced by about 10 kilometres. Then passenger launches from Dhaka will be able to reach Lakshmipur in six hours.
State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury inaugurated the excavation of the River Meghna at a function in Lakshmipur on Saturday, said a press release.
The state minister said the government has taken up a dredging master plan to develop the navigability of 10,000 kilometres of river routes by excavating 178 rivers across the country.
As all concerned are working unitedly under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the country is moving forward economically, he mentioned.
Later, he inspected the dredging work at the southern part of the lower channel in the river, adjacent to Maju Chowdhurir Haat in Char Ramani Mohan union of Lakshmipur Sadar upazila.
The distance of Dhaka to Lakshmipur river route crossing the Buriganga, Dhaleshwari and Meghna (lower) is 125 kilometres. Currently, there is a navigability crisis in some places on the lower channel of the Meghna River.
The Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) will dredge 25km of the river route in the lower channel of the River Meghna. The excavation will be 220 feet wide and 10 feet deep. The dredging work will be complete in December 2022.
The excavation cost of 31 lakh cubic meters in two years using dredgers of Khulna Shipyard Limited and the BIWTA has been estimated at around Tk50 crore.
BIWTA Chairman Commodore Golam Sadeq presided over the function.
Former minister and legislator from Lakshmipur-3 AKM Shahjahan Kamal, Shipping Ministry Joint Secretary Rafique Ahmed Siddique, Lakshmipur Deputy Commissioner Anjan Chandra Pal, Superintendent of Police Dr AHM Kamruzzaman, District Awami League President Mia Mohammad Golam Faruk Pinku and General Secretary Advocate Nur Uddin Chowdhury Nayan also attended the programme.