Dredging Department of BIWTA
Grave conspiracy goes on to tarnish images of the government
Golam Mostafa Jibon: Allegation has been intensified that a powerful syndicate has remained active in grave conspiracy and making questionable the development works especially the activities of the BIWTA’s dredging department with a view to tarnish the images of the incumbent government to the international arena.
In continuation of their evil deeds, they are engaged in several misdeeds including creation of obstruction in implementing the Prime Minister’s election pledges and development activities like improvement of shipping system, excavation of river by dredging, retrieve of grabbed lands and extinct waterways as well as procurement of dredger machines.
A reliable source said, this time, they have targeted the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA), an important body in the maritime sector, in which all the development works of the sector become questionable. Not only that, they have already involved with nakedly criticizing the decisions of the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and even the initiatives of the State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury. Besides, they are involved with (See Page-2)
spreading false rumors against some responsible officials of BIWTA so that they lost their interest to do best in future.
There is allegation that one more BIWTA engineers and top ranking officers are also directly and indirectly involved with the ugly and evil deeds and conspiracies. These officials, who are playing contrary role against the political ideology of the incumbent government, are making fabricated and imaginary allegations against the ongoing development works at various places. Their main goal is to disrupt the ongoing development works including purchasing of dredgers and vessels, recovering of defunct waterways and carrying dredging activities in the rivers under the shipping sector. The conspirators are now keeping busy to destabilize the maritime sector by disputing various directions of the Minister of State for Shipping, the steps taken by the Chairman of BIWTA and the activities of the Dredging Department, it is alleged.
According to the investigation, a large portion of lands of Buriganga, Shitalakshya and Turag river grabbed by several influential has been freed from the grabbers with the bold, prudent and fanatic efforts of the State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury and constant supervision of BIWTA Chairman Commodore Golam Sadeq and former Chairman Commodore Mahbubur Rahman in the last few years according to the directives of the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
In addition, BIWTA has recovered a large number of extinct waterways, including several flooded and lost navigable rivers.
According to the Ministry of Shipping, BIWTA, National River Protection Commission and the Department of Shipping, BIWTA’s river-free drive and river dredging are continuing across the country.
In order to intensify these works, 35 more dredgers are being added to the company’s fleet very soon. Earlier, 38 new dredgers were added by the government.
But, at the time of Bangabandhu’s assassination in August 1975, BIWTA had only seven dredgers. After a long period of importing 38 dredgers, this number has now reached at 45.
If 35 more new dredgers are added here, the total number of dredgers will be 80. BIWTA’s dredging department has already completed the procurement process of new dredgers by few steps. Besides, it has recovered about 6,000 Km extinct waterways through uninterrupted dredging. All of these works have been done led by the Chief Engineer Abdul Matin, who has now become one of the targeted persons by the conspirators due to his uninterrupted achievement, sources said.
Various observations and investigations have revealed that a major attempt has made to weaken the entire dredging department and bring the inland maritime sector back to its former fragile state by creating controversy over the success works of Chief Engineer Abdul Matin. Seeking anonymity, many in the maritime sector said, the conspirators want poaching two birds with one stone.
Besides, the conspirators want to carry out massive corruption and irregularities in various projects including river excavation and removal of silt from waterways. If their evil efforts are implemented, the development works of the government would be hampered drastically, relevant sincere officers claimed.
Incidentally, Abdul Matin went retirement from his job on June 30 last. However, State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury wrote a letter to the Minister of State for Public Administration on the same day requesting to retain Abdul Matin in the same post for two more years for the national interest. The Ministry of Public Administration sent a positive opinion on the proposal of the Ministry of Shipping to the Prime Minister’s Office. In view of which, the Prime Minister appointed him on a contract basis for one year. After that, a selfish and unscrupulous group got involved in a dirty game over Abdul Matin that hampering normal development activities.
Aminur Rasul Babul, Member Secretary of Development Trust and a researcher on shipping said that, “The continuity of development is being maintained with the efforts of the incumbent government. Similarly, BIWTA has a long-term plan to import dredgers step by step, excavate silted rivers and restore abandoned waterways. The extension of the tenure of the Chief Engineer of the Dredging Department is undoubtedly the right decision in the interest of maintaining the transparency, dynamism and continuity of these admirable works.” Aminur Rasul Babul further said, “A vicious circle is doing all those to hinder the development of the government, especially the development of the naval sector. There may be more than one engineer in the dredging department behind the conspiracies. Action should be taken against them as soon as possible to keep continuation of development flow.”
Mihir Biswas, Joint Secretary of Bangladesh Paribesh Andolan (BAPA) and founding member secretary of Buriganga Bachao Andolan said, “The government has recovered thousands of acres of land including Buriganga and Turag from the grabbers. In addition, long-term excavation and regular silt removal are essential to recover many silted rivers and more than 20,000 kilometers of waterways that have been abandoned for many years.”
He also said, “The dredging department of BIWTA is doing everything. Despite the low capacity, the organization did not stop their work. However, there is still a lot of works to be done. Many more waterways have to be recovered; many dredgers and other vessels have to be bought. So, in this case, lying against the activities of the dredging department or its chief engineer is completely unwelcome.”
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