State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury on Thursday told parliament that the dredging of 25 rivers, including 13 almost dead ones, are now underway to maintain the navigability of river routes.
“The ongoing dredging work on the 25 rivers will be completed by 2026,” he said.
The state minister came up with the remarks while responding to a question from Awami League MP M Israfil Alam (Naogaon-60).
Of the 25 rivers, he said, 13 are almost dead and dry rivers. “The dredging work is being carried out to bring back the navigability of the rivers.”
The 13 dead rivers are Kongso, Mogra, Chalti, Dudhkumar, Rokti, Baulai, Raksa-Nalar, Arial Khan, Monu, Atrai, Buri, Natun and Moynakata.
Replying to another question from ruling party MP Mujibul Haq (Kishorganj-3), Khalid said 50 ferries are now in operation on different routes while the government has a plan to increase its number further.
“We’ve a plan to increase the number of ferry on different routes run under the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC),” the state minister said.
As part of the plan, he said, two high-quality K-type ferries are now under construction that will go into operation by June 2020.
Khalid said BIWTC placed a proposal to the ministry for constructing two medium ferries with its own finance. “The proposal is now under the approval process.”
Besides, he said, six improved-utility ferries and six improved K-type ferries for the BIWTC will also be constructed.
The state minister said the new ferries may go into operation by June 2022.