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10 waterways abandoned due to corruption in dredging: SCRF

Staff Reporter:

Although there are 41 recognized waterways between Dhaka and the south-west coast commercial launches are operating from Sadarghat terminal in Dhaka river port on just 31 routes.
The rest 10 routes were abandoned due to irregularities and corruption in river dredging by Bangladesh Inland Transport Authority (BIWTA).
Shipping and Communication Reporters Forum (SCRF) on Sunday disclosed the information in a pre-Eid observation report over inland waterways, a media release said.
According to Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority sources and vessel owners association, launches are not plying the 10 river routes due to lack of navigability .
They say that those waterways have apparently been abandoned due to poor navigability, the release said.
The SCRF said that this crisis has been created due to lack of sufficient dredging.
Quoting green activists and experts the SCRF alleged that there is no transparency and accountability in excavation and dredging works.
Launch owners also have the same complaint that waterways are not being dredged properly due to lack of transparency and accountability, the report said.
SCRF alleged that BIWTA was doing the job as per their wish, leading to widespread irregularities and corruption. As a result, general people, including water transport owners, are not getting the benefits, it said.
According to report, the government is also giving adequate allocation in this sector. But due to the ir-regularities and corruption of BIWTA’s dredging department, the desired success in restoring navigabil-ity of rivers has not been achieved even after 15 years.

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