It's on us. Share your news here.

Karnaphuli Dredging Project Gets Stuck

Posted on May 16, 2016

The capital dredging of the Karnaphuli river, a vital project for the smooth operation of Chittagong port, remains incomplete even three and a half years after the deadline.

About 80 percent of the project was completed before the appointed Malaysian contractor left it in 2013.

Though nearly two third of the sand and mud were dredged up from the riverbed by that time, the official concerned fear that the riverbed is now completely strewn with silt and that they would have to start the dredging all over again.

On the other hand, the contractor, Malaysian Maritime and Dredging Corporation (MMDC), took Tk 166 crore from the Tk 229.54-crore project, according to Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) officials.

In April 2011, the CPA awarded the project, titled “Capital Dredging and Bank Protection with Jetty Facilities in the Karnaphuli River from Sadarghat Jetty to Third Karnaphuli Bridge”, to the MMDC and asked the firm to complete the work within 20 months.

The MMDC stared their work later in May and was supposed to end it by January 2013.

The project work include, dredging up 3.6 million cubic metres of silt from around two kilometres of riverbed stretching from Sadarghat Jetty to some 500 metres off the Third Karnaphuli Bridge as well as constructing a 2,615-metre marine driveway with bank protection and a 400-metre jetty.

Though over 95 percent work of the construction of the jetty and the bank protection was completed before the work suspension, around 38 percent of the dredging was still incomplete, according to the port officials.

The MMDC dredged up around 2.23 million cubic metres of silt from the riverbed.

The CPA extended the deadline several times after the 2013 deadline but the contractor failed to show satisfactory progress, said the officials.

In May 2013, the port authority issued a notice to the MMDC, mentioning the delay as a fundamental breach of contract and warned it that further failure to achieve satisfactory progress would entail harsh action.

Following repeated warnings, the CPA scrapped the deal in 2014. Later on, it moved to complete the project on its own or through another contractor. However, the move went in vain as the MMDC filed a writ petition with the High Court challenging the deal cancellation and got a stay on it. Later, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court vacated the HC stay, prompting the MMDC to take the issue to the arbitration board. The board is currently hearing the matter.

Currently, the CPA is planning to resume the dredging on its own.

Contacted, CPA Member (admin) Mohammad Jafar Alam recently said they would have to do the dredging all over again as the work remained suspended over three years.

They would take initiatives for dredging in the newly-built jetty area at Sadarghat where lighter vessel berth, he said. Alam said they also claimed Tk 178 crore as compensation from the Malaysian firm.

Source: The Daily Star

It's on us. Share your news here.
Submit Your News Today

Join Our
Click to Subscribe