Bangladesh Inland Water and Transport Authority (BIWTA) has reopened the crucial 31 kilometers long Mongla-Ghasiakhali channel, according to the National News Agency – Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS).
“We have reopened this crucial channel three days ago for vessels with draft as high as 14 feet which were previously required to use rivers and canals inside the Sundarbans,” BIWTA’s superintendent engineer Sayedur Rahman.
He also added that the silts deposited in the channel for years earlier turned the Mongla-Ghasiakhali channel unsuitable for movement of vessels forcing them to use the canals and rivers inside the world’s largest mangrove forest exposing it to environmental dangers.
After completing the dredging operations, at least 50 to 70 cargo vessels of 6 to 8 feet draft and 40 to 60 vessels of 10 to 14 feet draft are using the 31-km waterways bypassing the Sundarbans on daily basis.
BIWTA officials also added that they conducted a dredging project for 53 inland navigation routes in early 2014.