Posted December 13, 2018
Dublar Char, an island in the Sundarbans, will have about 4.5 square kilometre of land added to its area with the soil deposited on the island during the dredging of the outer bar of Pashur Channel.
The channel was being dredged to enhance the large ship handling capacity of Mongla port.
Dublar Char, whose land area was around 80 square kilometres now, will have another 4.5 square kilometres of soil deposited on the island during the dredging process, said a senior official of the shipping ministry who wished not to be named.
Earlier, an 11-member inter-ministerial committee was formed under the project titled ‘Dredging at outer bar of Mongla Port Channel’ to analyse whether the dredged soil of the channel could be used for land reclamation or not.
Led by additional secretary of shipping ministry Bhola Nath Day, the committee comprised of representatives of the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority, the Institute of Water Modelling, Centre for Environmental and Geographic Information Services, the environment, forest and climate change ministry, the fisheries and livestock ministry, the water resources ministry and Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology.
The committee recommended the authorities concerned not to deposit the dredged soil on Bangabandhu Island, which could cause harm the ecosystem and biodiversity of the Sundarbans, the largest mangrove forest.
The official said that the water-level was very high on Bangabandhu Island and that was why the island was not suitable for depositing the soil.
Dublar Char, which was 10 kilometres away from Pashur Channel, was suitable for filling
the soil as the depth of the island’s southern part was around 1 to 2 metres, he said.
He said that once the island got the land, it would help create more employment opportunities for fishermen and the island would be an attractive tourism site.
The official said the additional land of Dublar Char would increase the sea beach area of the island.
In 2017, the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council approved the project involving Tk 712.50 crore aiming to dredge Pashur Channel to increase the capacity of Mongla Seaport.
Later, Hong Kong River Engineering Co Limited China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation JV was awarded with the work order for implementing the project.
The shipping ministry official said that the Mongla Port was currently underutilised because only vessels with drafts of 8.5 metres could reach the port.
‘Once the project is implemented, ships with drafts of 10.5 metres would be able to reach the seaport,’ he said.
Source: NEWAGE Bangladesh