Posted on March 15, 2023
After completion of the capital dredging of the Karnaphuli River, the shipping cost has come down as 10-metre draft vessels can now berth at the Chittagong port.
Earlier, lighter ships used to transport goods to and from larger vessels anchored at the outer anchorage of the port, increasing the shipping cost.
However, the cost has decreased as the mother vessels can enter the port now.
Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) Secretary Omar Faruk said, “With the completion of the capital dredging, 10-metre draft ships can enter the port now. As a result, the shipping cost has decreased.”
However, CPA will conduct the maintenance dredging to ensure the smooth navigation and prevent siltation after capital dredging, he added.
Chittagong port, the prime seaport of the country, can now accommodate 200-metre-long and 10-metre draft ships. Such a vessel – a Marshall Island flag carrier ship, named ‘MV Common Atlas’ – berthed at a jetty of the port on January 16 last, showing the capacity of the port to accommodate larger vessels.
The works of the project of capital dredging of the river Karnaphuli ended in October last year. Now the berthing of the big ships at the port’s jetties, facilitated by the dredging, has opened new opportunities.
Commander Arifur Rahman, Chief Hydrographer of Chittagong Port Authority (CPA), said they dredged 5.01 million (51 lakh) cubic metres of garbage from the river bed – 50 per cent of them were polythene.
He said, “We started cleaning a 13 feet thick layer of polythene from the river bed. As the polythene layers were as thick as 21 feet under the water body in many areas of the river, the imported suction dredging machine developed glitches and failed to dredge the river bed.”
“Then we used locally-made grab dredgers to clean the 21 feet thick layer of polythene, plastic, iron, wood and other hard objects from numerous spots of the river bed.”
Chairman of CPA Rear Admiral M Shahjahan said the berthing of big ships at jetties of Chittagong port is a milestone for the country.