Dhaka – Amid concern over frequent incidents of vessel capsize in the Shela River in the Sundarbans, the government on Wednesday imposed a permanent ban on the plying of all types of vessels through the river.
The recent sinking of a coal-laden cargo vessel in Shela River with some 1,235 tonnes of coal on board prompted the government to impose the ban.
Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan came up with the disclosure while talking to reporters at the secretariat after the 31st meeting with the taskforce on maintaining navigability of some important rivers, including the Buriganga, Shitalakhya, Turag and Balu.
Shajahan Khan said the decision was taken for the sake of environment and biodiversity of the Sundarbans.
The minister said the original channel of the Buriganga River will be detected to fix its boundaries.
After recovering the grabbed parts of the Buriganga River, a project like Hatirjheel will be implemented with a view to increasing its riverside beauty, the minister assured.
Shajahan Khan also said the government has taken shot-, mid- and long-term plans to make the four rivers — Buriganga, Shitalakhya, Balu and Turag — surrounding the capital, pollution free.
Bangladesh Navy will prepare a concept paper to implement the three plans, said the minister.
Some 4,063 pillars, out of some 6,883 pillars, have been set up on different points of the Buriganga River, while some 5,041 pillars will be installed in Narayanganj, Shajahan Khan added.
However, mobile courts will work along the riversides to check the incidents of pillar uprooting, he said. – Agencies