The government has launched a Taka 7.61 crore project to protect the environment of the world’s largest mangrove forests of Sundarabnas keeping commercial vessels away from its water channels, officials said here yestarday. Water Development Board (WDB) officials said a major component of the project was aimed to enhance navigability re-excavating 83 channels and a river.
WDB’s superintendent engineer Bazlur Rashid said they planned to excavate 310 km areas of the channels, which are considered lifeline of the mangrove vegetation and wild lives. Rashid said a major objective of the project was to reroute the ships or vessels to keeping them away from the main forest as black smokes and sounds caused by their movements affect Sundarbans biodiversity.
“We are scheduled to complete the project by December, 2020,” Rashid said adding that it was expected to create around 200 kilometer extra water routes for vessels in the region. The official said the project also aimed at keeping waters of the channels cleaner and create reservoirs particularly at Urbunia and Perikhali beels in the forest areas under Mongla and Rampal upazilas of Bagerhat district.
“At least 14-km areas of the Daudkhali River and 296-km areas of the 83 channels including Kumardanga, Joybangla, Moricher Dana, Goona, Barura, Dayna, Katakhai, Urubunia, Gunor,Putimari, Carkhali, Boara, Peerkhali, Kamranga and Karzon would be dredged under the intervention,” he added.