|Published : 20 Mar 2016, 21:47:53|
Steps sought to protect biodiversity of Sundarbans
DHAKA, Mar 20: The National Committee to Protect Shipping, Roads and Railways (NCPSRR) on Sunday urged the concerned authorities to take necessary steps to stop plying of vessels through the Shela River in Sundarbans to keep its biodiversity intact.
NCPSRR, a green and civil rights body, has been campaigning long for an environmentally and public-friendly transport system, also demanded opening the alternative channel on the Mongla-Ghashiakhali route 24 hours a day for plying by all kinds of commercial ships.
In a joint statement, following the repetition of a navigational accident at Shela River, National Committee adviser and senior politician Manzurul Ahsan Khan and its general secretary journalist Ashis Kumar Dey made the call to the Shipping Ministry and the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA).
They also demanded taking initiatives to prevent accidents.
The statement said unplanned installation of sluice gate by the Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) coupled with several hundred illegal dams in canals and hundreds of shrimp farms are the main obstacles to protection of the rivers.
Despite having an inter-ministerial decision to remove the sluice gate, BWDB is yet to act to implement it. Besides, local administration shows sheer negligence towards evicting illegal dams and environmentally harmful shrimp farms, according to a news agency.