Govt plans to procure 35 dredgers costing Tk 4,489 cr

DHAKA, Oct 22, 2018 : The government has initiated a process to procure some 35 dredgers involving Taka 4,489.03 crore to keep up navigability on 100 major naval routes.

“The Planning Commission by now reviewed a draft proposal on the project, expected to be discussed tomorrow at the ECNEC (Executive Committee of the National Economic Council) meeting,” a planning ministry official familiar with the process told  today.

He said the proposal suggested Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) to implement the project by June 2023 while the government would provide the entire project fund from its own resources.

The official said the under the project the dredgers would be procured along with ancillary equipment to dredge some 8,000 kilometres in 100 rivers across the country.

“The dredging will keep ferries, lunches, cargo vessels and other river vessels functional on domestic river routes round the year,” he said.

BIWTA officials, meanwhile, said they currently have 25 dredgers with an annual dredging capacity of 114 lakh cubic meter while 10 more dredgers are expected to join its fleet under an ongoing project.

With these procured dredgers the BIWTA will be able to dredge 346.50 lakh cubic meters in 2019.

“At least 1655.10 lakh cubic meter riverine routes are required to be dredged annually while our capacity is 846.50 lakh cubic meters mobilizing our BIWTA and private dredgers,” a BIWTA said.

He added: “So 808.60 lakh cubic meter riverine routes remains un-dredged despite the crucial need.”

Besides, the official said an initiative has been taken to open international river route in this region involving the domestic river routes adding that if the Bangladeshi river routes can be included in the international river transportation system, country’s trade and commerce would get a boost.

The project has been framed based on the findings of the ‘Feasibility Study on Capital Dredging and Sustainable River management in Bangladesh’.

Once the project is implemented, it will be possible to meet around 70.81 percent of the annual dredging capacity of the country.

The main project operations include procurement of two 28″ cutter suction dredgers and other necessary equipment, eight 24″ cutter suction dredgers and other necessary equipment, eight 20″ cutter suction dredgers and other necessary equipment, nine 18″ cutter suction dredgers and other necessary equipment, two 12″ cutter suction dredgers and other necessary equipment, two trailing suctions hoper dredgers along with other necessary equipment, two water injection jetting dredgers, two self propelled pontoon mounted grab dredgers, some 35 cutter suction dredgers crane boats, 30 crew houseboats and five officer house boats.

The project area will cover Dhaka, Narayanganj, Manikganj, Munshiganj, Madaripur, Barishal, Bagerhat, Gaibandha, Cox’s Bazar, Chandpur, Kishoreganj, Jamalpur and Sylhet districts.