No permanent shutting Shela River route: Shipping Minister

No permanent shutting Shela River route: Shipping Minister

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Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan has shot down an environment ministry recommendation to permanently shut down Sundarbans Shela River route.
“We are not thinking about closing the route yet,” he said after an inter ministerial meeting Sunday.
Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) recommended shutting the riverine route after an oil-tanker sank there spilling 350,000 litres of furnace oil on Tuesday.Environmentalists fear the spilled oil will wreak havoc on the world’s largest mangrove forest’s ecology.
The Ministry of Shipping closed the route temporarily after the accident.
Minister Khan fears the Mongla Port will become ineffective if the Shela route is shut.
He said ships had to take a 100 kilometre detour to reach destinations since the Shela River route was temporarily closed.
“It is not possible to use Nabaganga, Atrai and Madhumati rivers as alternative routes as they have bridges on them.
“Ships would get stuck on bridges,” he said. – bdnews24.com

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