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Launch movement in Kaptai Lake still suspended due to poor navigability

Posted on April 29, 2024

Launch services in six upazilas of Rangamati district through Kaptai Lake, the largest artificial lake in South Asia, remains suspended due to poor navigability caused by dry season, causing immense sufferings to the 2 lakh people in Rangamati.

The launch services from Baghaichhari, Langadu, Barkal, Jurachhari, Naniarchar and Bilaichhari upazila of the district remained suspended from the 3rd week of April as the river way of the lake becomes dried due to drying up of the lake water, causing immense sufferings to the dwellers.

People of the six upazilas have been facing difficulties in transporting their goods and going from one place to another.

In 1960, the 700 square kilometer lake was created after establishing Kaptai Dam on the Karnaphuli River for generating hydroelectricity.

In the current dry season, the water of Kaptai Lake has dried up abnormally.

A number of shoals were found on the Kaptai Lake due to drying up of water, forcing the authorities to make a new jetty ghat a far away.

However, the people have been crossing the river by small boats and speed boats by these are also on the verge of closure due to poor navigability.

People are also going through a food crisis due to absence of transportation of goods through the lake.

As a result, the region is affected economically. The life of daily wagers is also affected while the power generation at the Kaptai hydropower plant is also being hampered, causing lowest power generation.

Every year, the launch movement in six upazilas is suspended, inflicting woes to the residents of the six upazilas, especially the expecting women and children.

Moin Uddin, president of Rangamati Launch Owners Association, said passengers and goods are being transported by small engine-run boats but most of the time those get stuck in hidden shoals.

As a result, it takes 5/6 hours in transportation instead of 2/3 hours.

However, despite several attempts to the ministry concerned and local administration no initiative has been taken yet to dredge the lake, he said..

He also stressed the need for dredging to bring navigability in the lake.

Mosharraf Hossain Khan, deputy commissioner of Rangamati district, said the government has taken a plan to conduct dredging at six points of the lake and the dredging work will start as soon as the approval comes from the authorities concerned.


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