Mawa-Kawrakandi river route losing navigability

With the deposition of silt, the Mawa-Makurkanda channel on the Mawa-Kawrakandi river route is losing navigability.

The channel has lost its normal depth with the water vessels plying at great risks.

Now, the position of the channel with continuous deposition of silt has reached such a stage as it may close down at any time.

The deposition of silt carried by floodwater has caused the 16-km channel to lose its depth for the smooth plying of water vessels and ferries.

The channel has lost its normal depth with shoals emerging at different points.

Ferry and launch drivers apprehend that the channel may close at any time during the Ramadan.

According to informed sources, there is only six feet water at three points of the channel against the need of nine feet for the smooth plying of launches and ferries.

In the circumstances launches and ferries while plying the channel get stuck. It takes much time or the stuck launches and ferries to get out much to the sufferings of the passengers.

According to sources, the launches and ferries are getting stuck in the dormant shoals and they remain in the position for hours together in the season when the channel is to contain deep water.

The Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) has installed beacon lights and signal lights at 31-km long Zajira-Palerchar-Lauhajang channel to sue it alternative route if the present waterway closes.

If the present channel closes, the Jajira-Palerchar-Louhajang channel would take about two hours more for the launches and ferries to reach their destinations. It would increase the sufferings of the homebound people of south-western region on the eve of the Eid and Puja.

The officials of BIWTA fear the route may turn into a non-profit one as the government would have to count huge loss on fuel.

Idris Hossain Siraji, master-in- charge of Ferry Shah Moqsud, said the Ro-Ro ferry Shah Moqsud carrying 25 vehicles got stuck in a dormant shoal and remained in the position for 16 hours.

Water in the river is increasing everyday due to the flood keeping the cross channel functional, he said.

Manager of BIWTA Shahnawaz Chowdhury said, if the channel closes anytime, the sufferings of the homebound passengers of south-western region would mount.

The Awami League led government after coming to power reopened the channel by dredging it at a cost of Tk 4.86 crore in February.