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Dublar Char to get 4.5 square km land after dredging Pashur channel

Dublar Char to get 4.5 square km land after dredging Pashur channel

DHAKA: Dublar Char, an island in the Sundarbans, will
get about 4.5 square kilometre of land as soil will be deposited in the
island during the dredging of the outer bar of Pashur channel aiming to
enhance the large ship handling capacity of Mongla port.

Dublar Char, whose land area is around 80 square kilometre now, will get
around 4.5 square kilometre more if soil is deposited in the char in dredging
the channel, said a senior official of the Shipping Ministry wishing 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 the Shipping Ministry Bhola Nath Day, the
committee comprised of representatives of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport
Authority (BIWTA), Institute of Water Modelling (IWM), the Center for
Environmental and Geographic Information Services (CEGIS), the Environment,
Forest and Climate Change Ministry, the Fisheries and Livestock Ministry, the
Water Resources Ministry and Bangladesh University of Engineering and
Technology (BUET).

The committee recommended the authorities concerned not to deposit the
dredged soil in Bangabandhu Island, which could cause harm to ecosystem and
biodiversity of the Sundarbans, the largest mangrove forest.

The official said water-level is very high at Bangabandhu Island and that
is why the island is not suitable for depositing soil.

Dublar Char, which is 10 kilometre away from Pashur channel, is suitable
for filling the soil as the depth of the island’s southern part is around 1-2
metre, he said, adding that once the island gets the land, it would help
create more employment opportunities for fishermen and the island would be a
attractive tourism site.

The official said the additional land of Dublar Char will increase the sea
beach area of the island.

In 2017, the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC)
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 (HKRE-CCECC JV) was awarded the work order for
implementing the project.

The Shipping Ministry official said the Mongla port is currently
underutilised because only vessels with drafts of 8.5 metres can reach the
port. “Once the project is implemented, ships with drafts of 10.5 metres (34
feet) would be able to reach the seaport.”

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