Dhaka – The Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) has suspended the plying of vessels through the Shela River following the capsize of a coal-laden cargo vessel in the river at Harintana of the Sundarbans under Mongla upazila.
BIWTA Chairman Commodore M Mozammel Haque told reporters on Monday that the Shipping Ministry in an order has asked all the vessel owners to use Mongla-Ghashiakhali channel instead of the Shela River until further notice.
He also suggested the vessel owners to use the one-way route of the Mongla-Ghashiakhali channel during the full tide.
All the vessels have been removed from Sharankhola-Bhola and Mongla-Pashur river points in the Sundarbans after the order.
Meanwhile, Sultan Mahmud, station officer at Dhansagar of Sundarbans East Zone, filed a case with Sarankhola Police Station on early Monday in connection with the capsize of the cargo vessel.
They sought TK 5 crore as compensation in the case.
Six people were made accused in the case, said Shah Alam Miah, officer-in-charge of the police station.
The accused are Mrs Monira Kabir, owner of the capsized cargo vessel ‘MV Sea Hosrse-1′, Azizur Rahman, owner of ‘Shamata Trading Agency’ and its staff Jamal Hossain, cargo master Sirajul Islam, staff Shahidul Islam and cargo pilot Ismail Farazi.
However, there has been no progress so far in salvaging the sunken vessel as it is lying 30-40 feet below the water surface.
Earlier, a Jessore-bound coal-laden cargo vessel ‘MV Sea Hosrse-1′ from Chittagong carrying 1,235 tonnes of coal sank in the Shela River at Harintana on Saturday evening.
However, all the 14 crew members of the vessel, owned by ‘Shamata Trading Agency’, managed to swim ashore after the incident and went into hiding.
Meanwhile, two panels have been formed to probe the incident.
Earlier on December 9, 2014, a tanker carrying some 3.58 lakh litres of furnace oil sank in the river creating a ground for a prolonged impact on the coastal ecology of the Sundarbans. – UNB