Lack of navigability in the Jamuna River has forced the northbound goods laden cargo vessels from Chittagong and Mongla sea ports to anchor in the Padma River at Daulatida, Manikganj.
The confluence of the Jamuna and Padma is about 1km north of Daulatdia. Large cargo vessels that carry goods, mostly fertilizers, to northern districts from the two sea ports enter the Jamuna through this point.
During a visit to on the left bank of the Padma River at Number 5 ferry ghat at Daulatdia on Thursday afternoon, this Dhaka Tribune correspondent found that the more than 100 cargo vessels were anchored near the ferry ghat.
The goods were being unloaded to smaller cargo vessels heading the northern districts of Pabna and Sirajganj, which are considered the entry point to the northern region
Md Jewel, manager at the local office of Proton Navigation, said they had 20 of the northbound ships anchored at Daulatdia because of the navigability crisis in the Jamuna.
“The draft [the distance between the surface of the water and the lowest point of the vessel] of our ships is greater than the depth measured at certain points of the river,” he said.
Contacted in the afternoon on Saturday, Jewel said at least 50 cargo vessels of different shipping companies were still anchored at Daulatdia.
Abdus Salam, joint director of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) at Aricha Port Office, said the navigability has been a recurring problem on the river route during the dry season every year
The depth required for the plying of the ships is not there, and we issue warning regularly. But the ships do not pay much heed to those warnings. They keep on arriving with full loads.
The navigability of the Jamuna has been the lowest at Petkhola and Nagarbari of Pabna district, and in Mollar Char and Betarir Char of Manikganj district. In those points, the river is only abuot 6-6.45 feet deep, informed the official.
BIWTA is carrying out capital dredging at those points and hopefully the situation will improve very soon, he added.