Hydrologists and officials have stressed the need for carrying out dredging to remove silts and sediments on the river beds for restoring navigability.
Every year huge amount of sediment deposits on the river-beds in Bangladesh. The siltation thus caused, hinders navigation, experts told a workshop at the BRAC Centre Inn in the city recently.
Centre for Environmental and Geographic Information Services (CEGIS) organised the workshop on “CEGIS expertise to face the Challenges in Maintaining the Navigability in the Complex River and Estuary Systems of Bangladesh”.
Shipping Secretary Syed Monjurul Islam, Chairman of Mongla Port Authority commodore HR Bhuiyan, Executive Director of CEGIS Engineer Md Waji Ullah and deputy executive director Dr Maminul Haque Sarker, among others, addressed the workshop.
Monjurul underscored the need for taking comprehensive study on river morphology for better sediment management.
Maminul said dredging is not the only solution to maintain navigability. Other adaptive measures should be taken to solve the problem, he added.
Other speakers said the country had 24,000 km long waterways in the past, but siltation on the river-beds hampered navigability of the water ways.
At present, the country has 5,968 km navigable waterways during the monsoon while 3,865 km during dry season.
To maintain the navigability in the rivers, massive dredging operation is required on yearly basis, they said.