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Bangladesh Inland Water Transport

42220 Views 64 Replies 19 Participants Last post by  Faisal Shourov

The landscape of Bangladesh is dominated by about 250 rivers providing over 5,000 miles [8,000 km) of navigable waterways. Country-made boats are the most widely used carrier one can see in the rivers and rivulets. They carry passengers and merchandise on a large scale. Mechanized Water transport is mainly operated by the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC), which run ferry and launch services on the main routes. There are also water transport services run by private companies.

Waterways: 5,150-8,046 km navigable waterways (includes 2,575-3,058 km main cargo routes)
Ports and harbors: Chittagong, Dhaka, Mongla Port
Merchant marine:
total: 40 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 315,855 GRT/453,002 DWT
ships by type: bulk 2, cargo 33, oil tanker 2, refrigerated cargo 1, roll-on/roll-off cargo 2 (1998 est.)

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What do you think about our Water Transport?

Do you feel Private sectors will run much better than BIWTC?
Just saw this in ATN News

Workers set fire to launches on Buriganga
Sun, May 4th, 2008 1:28 pm BdST

Dhaka, May 4 ( – Angry workers set fire to two launches on the Buriganga Sunday, protesting the closure of a pier at Gudaraghat, across from Sadarghat, a police official said.

Sub-inspector of Keraniganj Police Station Abdur Rashid said: "Agitating people set fire to the launches after the BIWTA ordered the pier closed."

"We are finding it difficult to control the situation," Rashid said.

The launches that came under arson attacks are Obhijan-3, which was bound for Barisal from Dhaka, and Riaz-4, bound for Fatullah.
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What do you think about our Water Transport?

Do you feel Private sectors will run much better than BIWTC?
Private sectors will always excel at managing any business compared to a govt owned company. But a permanent dredging company should be form immediately to continue the viability of the inland water transportation.
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I found a wonderful website abound the classification and shipbuilding of inland watercraft in Russia. They have exemplary tradition of building advanced craft like the 'Raketa' class hydrofoils. The traditional class craft are very good too and seem appropriate for our uses.

Russian rivercraft
People going to their families to celebrate Eid together.

Scary. Got any solution?
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People going to their families to celebrate Eid together.

Scary. Got any solution?
Have life jackets for all.
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Have life jackets for all.
More practical solution would be to design low or shallow draft launches using two hulls joined by beams side by side called a catamaran or double hull boat. That is the best way to ensure stability. Catamaran and tri-marans are basically unsinkable.

a) The govt. should mandate and encourage this by giving subsidy for building these catamaran designs.

b) The operators can advertise these as 'significantly safer' and maybe charge premium fare. The novelty would pay off.

Here's a pic of a smaller launch in China,
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People going to their families to celebrate Eid together.

Scary. Got any solution?
How abt builiding more bridges over all the rivers in Bangladesh
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What do you think ?

Re-defining " Brainstorm"
This is the "Extreme Solution" to Bangladesh water trasportation problem. I do not intent to make lite of the grave issues in water transportation.

I just came across these in yet another afternoon wasting precious time surfing the net. I really think the Buses are awesome.

The following article and the pics are from

Amphicoach called, it is the first amphibious bus that has been built under the strict supervision of Lloyd’s Register. Due to the high stability of the vehicle and the safety features they have, this is a great technological advancement.

This vehicle meets all requirements and fully complies with the legal provisions of the European Union, including noise levels, the levels of exhaust emission, etc.

The Amphicoach is built on the island of Malta and has a retail price of around $ 405,000. It is estimated that only 12 units will be manufactured this year

It is expenssive for mass transportation but may be a thought in Package Tours business. No Bridge, not a problem !!

Just a thought !!!!!!
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we have amphibius buses like that in Toronto but only for tourism.
Looks what happens on this side of the border happens on the other side too.

18 drown as boat sinks in West Bengal
Afp, Kolkata

At least 18 people, including 11 children, died after an overcrowded boat capsized in a river in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal, police said Monday.

The small vessel, with 38 passengers on board, sank on Sunday while crossing the Runarayan river in Kolaghat, about 50 kilometres (30 miles) southwest of the state capital Kolkata.

"The ferry was overcrowded and leaking, and it overturned in the middle of the river," West Bengal police inspector general Surojit Kar Purakayastha told AFP.

The vessel hit a bridge before it capsized, he said.

Eleven survivors were treated in hospital.
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Bangladesh plans waterway transit for Bhutan

Dhaka: Bangladesh plans to have an exclusive Teesta river waterway transit for landlocked Bhutan, an official said.

A government committee is preparing the final documents to give transit facilities to neighbouring countries to enable them to reach Bangladesh's Chittagong and Mongla ports, the Daily Star newspaper said on Monday.

Teesta is one of the major river systems in the region. It flows through India into Bangladesh.

Bhutan Prime Minister L Thinley was here on a four-day visit last week when he proposed three-way talks between Bangladesh, Bhutan and India to speed up the transit issue.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina signed a joint communiqué for regional transit including Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Bhutan during her visit to India in January last year.

India has been providing access, and has agreed to develop air and road links that would facilitate regular movement of goods.

A senior member of Bangladesh government's transit sub-committee said the country is considering "potential routes" which could be included for regional connectivity, besides the "conventional routes".

A waterway transit for Bhutan from Bangladesh's Doikhawa border under Lalmonirhat district is likely, said the official who asked not to be named.

This is a potential transit route for Bhutan, as the country is eager to use Mongla Port, he added.

"We have already identified major conventional transit routes for India, Nepal and Bhutan. Now we are spotting new routes for them. We are also planning for a railway transit among the South Asian nations," the official said.

Studies are still progressing on transit fees and infrastructures, he said.

The government formed five sub-committees on December 13, assigning five specialists to give their input to Mojibur Rahman, chief of the core committee.

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4 city canals still under grabbers' grip

Dhaka district admin fails to meet its January deadline to recover five canals
Tawfique Ali
Dhaka district administration failed to recover city's four canals and file a single case against illegal housing projects occupying rivers during its month-long deadline ending in January. It however partially recovered one canal.

An inter-agency meeting of the administration decided to recover Devdholai (Kajlar Khal) in Demra, part of Ramchandrapur Khal out of Dhaka embankment, Baunia Khal (canal) in Uttara, Ulan Khal in Rampura and the main Kalyanpur Khal.

The canals are either grabbed by government agencies or private housing projects, as per findings of district administration's survey.

A High Court bench in June 2009, among other directions, directed authorities to free Buriganga, Turag, Balu and Shitalakhya rivers from various encroachments by November 30, 2010.

Later, the administration concerned obtained an extension of the deadline till May 30 this year.

At the meeting held at the end of December 2010, Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Dhaka Mohibul Haque instructed all assistant commissioners (land) concerned with the rivers to identify and inform him of the river grabbers with housing projects.

Assistant commissioner (land) of Keraniganj was instructed to place the list of land grabbers of Sobhadda Khal, which has been grabbed and recovered several times in the past.

But none of the assistant commissioners came up with the information though they held a similar meeting on February 13.

Asked on failure to file criminal cases against the river grabbers, the DC said, "District administration has to remain preoccupied with many other jobs."

According to officials concerned, two roads occupy Devdholai canal.

Habibur Rahman Mollah, local lawmaker of Demra, filled a stretch of the canal, four kilometre in length and 30 to 50 feet in width, for the construction of a road by Local Government Engineering Department. Dhaka Wasa owns this part of the canal for drainage of urban flood.

Habibur said the road occupies only several feet of the canal's width and was in the interest of the public.

Roads and Highways Department completely filled the other part, owned by Water Development Board, to build Dhaka-Narayanganj Road.

Regarding this canal, the DC said he placed the matter to the national taskforce on river and canal recovery on February 3 and they would instruct him for further developments. The part occupied by the road is irreversible, he added.

On the other hand, Ramchandrapur canal is occupied by different housing projects.

Nabinagar Housing occupies 1.7 acres of land, Sat Masjid Housing Ltd 72 decimals, Chandrima Housing 80 decimals, Ekota Housing 50 decimals, Dhaka Uddyan Housing 8 decimals and Basila Garden City and Future Housing Ltd 20 decimals each, he said.

Baitul Noor Jannat Jam-e Mosque also occupies 30 decimals while Mina Bazar 7 decimals, added Bashar.

Dhaka district administration served notices upon these grabbers with a February 10 deadline, he said.

Baunia canal has been acquired and filled up by Rajdhani Unnayan Katripakkha, said Abul Bashar Md Fakruzzaman, revenue deputy collector and executive magistrate of Dhaka.

The stretch of Ulan canal within Hatirjheel development project will be restored as part of the project, said Bashar.

However, during the deadline, the administration carried eviction drives and almost freed Kalyanpur main canal from illegal structures.

They also carried eviction drives in Turag River near Tongi Bridge to remove illegal structures and in Buriganga River in Mohammadpur to remove earth filling by sand traders.

Meanwhile, a mobile court led by Magistrate Bashar penalised three sand traders for earth filling in Turag River at Amin Bazar on February 3.

A joint team of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority and Dhaka district administration also freed a stretch of Buriganga River foreshore in Lalbagh on February 14.

Source: The Daily Star
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Better waterways by 2013

Says shipping minister
Star Correspondent

The government is seriously considering river dredging to revive the waterways in a bid to boost the transportation system, said Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan yesterday.

“The government is keen to make the communications system through waterways a better one by 2013. Also we want to make the Chittagong port efficient and competitive than other regional ports,” said Shahjahan.

“For this, we have taken several initiatives, including purchasing dredgers to revive the country's waterways to help reduce the transport cost and ease local business activities,” he said.

He said the government is trying to solve problems of Chittagong port that holds back the growth of the port.

The minister was speaking at a seminar titled Safe Port Issue in the Context of Ctg Port, organised by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT), Bangladesh Council at the LGED auditorium in the city.

He, however, admitted the government's poor capacity in dredging rivers and said that reviving the 21,000 km waterways will help ease the transport cost and enhance economic activities.

“The capacity of public sector is still poor, and the government's procurement policy takes longer period of time that slows the river dredging policy. So, we are encouraging the private sector to come up for dredging rivers,” said the minister.

In his keynote paper, Mohiuddin Abdul Kadir, fellow of CILT, suggested the government improve bilateral relations with neighbours to give them the its services.

He stressed the need for ensuring appropriate traffic management system, and forming a task force to investigate complains by master vessels and ship owners against local agents.

Source: The Daily Star
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Dhaka-Ctg river cargo route opens in March
Gazi Towhid Ahmed, back from Ctg
A new river route opening in March to carry goods between Dhaka and Chittagong will reduce pressure on highways and minimise costs and time for businesses, officials said.

Once the route is launched, a container-laden vessel from Dhaka will reach Chittagong Port within a day, from seven days to one month needed now.

Costs will also come down significantly -- businesses will spend Tk 1 for carrying a tonne of goods per kilometre, which is Tk 5 now on roads.

The shuttle route will connect Chittagong Port with Pangaon Inland Container Terminal at Keraniganj near Dhaka.

The rive route is part of a Tk 177-crore project that the Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) and Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority took in July 2000 to build the inland container terminal in Pangaon.

The project was aimed at easing traffic congestion on the Dhaka-Chittagong highway.

"Eighty percent work is complete,� said Rear Admiral M Nizamuddin Ahmed, chairman of the CPA, at his office on Monday.

"We will operate four ships a day. A vessel will carry goods equivalent to what around 50 trucks can carry through the Dhaka-Chittagong highway."

The route will formally be opened by the last week of March and the necessary dredging work would be complete within the next two months beginning in December, Ahmed said.

�We're now putting the things in place. The required equipment will be available by the next two months,� he said.

Ahmed said it now takes seven days to one month to carry a container to Dhaka from the port.

�When the route will open, only 24 hours will be needed, reducing costs as well.� The construction work of the container terminal began in July 2005 under the supervision of the shipping ministry.

�We'll be benefited in three ways: it'll save time, minimise costs and reduce pressure on the Dhaka-Chittagong highway,� said M Siddiqur Rahman, acting president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association.

Rahman said it takes 18-20 days to carry their containers from Dhaka to Chittagong Port now.

Mujibur Rahman Sarker, project director of Pangaon Inland Container Terminal, said: �The terminal is fully ready. The connecting road of four-five kilometres with the terminal is also ready.�

�Though the budget was Tk 177 crore, the project was implemented at Tk 156 crore,� Sarker said.

The shipping ministry earlier took a decision that the terminal will be operated by private sector operators, said Sarker. According to the decision, the CPA invited bids to appoint a private operator.

But following litigation and other complexities, it was decided that the CPA itself will operate the terminal, he added.

According to a report of the Asian Development Bank, Bangladesh can raise its gross domestic product by 1 percent and foreign trade by 20 percent by making its inland water transport systems efficient and competitive.

[email protected]

Source: Daily Star
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Sitakund marine terminal opens for public

CHITTAGONG, DEC 28: At last the much-hyped Kumira Marine Terminal and Jetty at Sitakund upazila in Chittagong has opened for the people of island upazila Sandwip. With the inauguration of the terminal and jetty at Sitakund bank of Sandwip channel, people of the country’s ancient island Sandwip would significantly get rid from their arduous journey through difficult tracks of Sandwip channel. Shipping Minister Shahajahan Khan MP inaugurated the terminal and jetty on Thursday as chief guest. Chairman of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) Dr Mohammad Shamsuddoha presided over the inaugural function while Chairman of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Commerce affairs ABM Abul Kashem MP attended the inaugural function as special guest.
Addressing the inaugural function of Kumira jetty Shahajahan Khan MP said that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina led grand alliance government had been working hard to save the country’s waterways.
“We’re putting emphasis on protecting and uplifting the country’s waterways in a bid to reduce the pressure on roads,” he added.
Our Sitakund upazila Correspondent M Sekandar Hossain adds: the BIWTA has implemented the construction works of Kumira Marine Terminal and Jetty at a cost of Tk 12 crore.
The BIWTA took the project of construction of a 635-metre RCC Jetty at Kumira Ghat under Sitakund Upazila at a cost of Tk 9.86 crore in June 2010 and its implementation work was supposed to be completed in December 2011.
“But due to the fund crunch, lacks of sincerity of the construction firms and damage of some parts of the already commissioned jetty implementation works of the two jetties could not be completed within the stipulated time,” said an engineer of the BIWTA.
Mentionable, during low tide the on-board passengers of speed boats and launch used to either wade through the knee deep mud or to
men-pulled boats to reach Kumira Ghat in the absence of a jetty.

Source: The Independent
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BIWTC to have 3 world class ferries by Sept
Three world class utility ferries worth Taka 22.5 crore would be added to the existing fleet of the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC) by September this year, reports BSS.
Khan Brothers Shipb-uilding Ltd (KBSBL), one of the leading shipbuilders, will build the ferries for BIWTC, a source in the company said Monday.
Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan will attend the keel laying ceremony at company’s shipyard on the bank of the Meghna in Munshiganj on January 9 (Wednesday).
Chairman of the Parlia-mentary Standing Comm-ittee on Ministry of Defense M Idris Ali, Sarah Begum Kabari, MP, BIWTC Chairman Mojibor Rahman and Chairman of One Bank Sayeed H Chowdhury will also attend the function.
Shajahan Khan will also hand over six oil tankers, built by the KBSBL, to Karim Group on that day. Cost of each oil tanker is Taka five crore.
“We are delighted to build world class utility type ferries for the government” Tofayel Kabir Khan, Managing Director of the KBSBL, told BSS.
Khan said the company has built 24 ships last year and the work is progressing fast to build another 22 oil tankers and two K-type ferries.

Source: News Today
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Karnaphuli dredging, bank protection scheme to be completed by June

CHITTAGONG, apr 15: The project of the dredging and bank protection of the Karnaphuli river, undertaken by the Chittagong Port Authority (CPA), will be completed by June this year. This was disclosed by the CPA through a statement by project director Khademul Basher. The much-talked-about project, named ‘Capital dredging and bank protection with jetty facilities in Karnaphuli river’, has been at the centre of a controversy following allegations by ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury, former mayor of Chittagong and president of the Chittagong city committee of the Awami League. A report in connection with this was published in The Independent on March 25.
However, the CPA has provided an explanation and confirmed that the progress of the project is satisfactory. It confirmed that 76 per cent of the project has already been completed.
Khademul Basher, project director of the ‘Capital dredging and bank protection with jetty facilities in Karnaphuli river’ scheme sent a statement to the newspaper regarding the allegations by ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury. He explained that taking into consideration sustainable dredging, the CPA has marked the river bank line following a mathematical model study by the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET). Besides, a team of experts was always monitoring reduction of the river bank line of the Karnaphuli. BUET’s representative, Dr MA Matin, mentioned at a meeting chaired by the shipping minister that the effective width of the river would not be reduced during low tide.
He said, “The Capital dredging and bank protection with jetty facilities in Karnaphuli river scheme included 36 lakh cubic feet (CFT) dredging and construction of a 400-metre-long jetty, a 2,615-metre-long embankment and a 10-metre-long walkway. There is no plan to build any hotel in the area. If anybody occupies the land, CPA will take action in this connection.”

Source: The Independent
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