Over the years, the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) has ameliorated the IWT Sector to a large extent addressing all the issues of challenges and developments successfully, activating all sorts of support system including aids to navigation, making necessary dredging, producing tide table, keeping survey and port facilities across the country, said Dr. Md. Samsuddoha Khondaker, Chairman, BIWTA in an exclusive interview with The Guardian.
In this context, the Chairman informed that BIWTA currently maintains 6,000-km waterways, though there remain 24,000-km waterways across the country, but the length of navigable waterways in monsoon period reduces to 5968 km and in dry season to 3865 km, whereas least available depth range is 3.90m to 1.50m and annual water discharge is 1400 billion cubic metres and silt is 2.5 billion tons. He further informed that despite the fact still in waterways 87.80 millions of passengers and 0.58 million tons of different kinds of cargoes are carried per year.
He observed that the inland waterways in Bangladesh have been facing serious navigational problems for a long time during the dry season due to siltation on the river bed and recession of the water level. In this context, he said that to maintain regular navigability is a must and for it a huge quantity of dredging is required annually, but due to paucity of fund and shortage of dredgers BIWTA could not meet the dredging requirement in all routes, adding that presently BIWTA undertakes sufficient dredging programme.
Terming the IWT sector as natural and environment friendly, he said that this sector is playing an important role in transportation and about 13% share of transport, freight and passenger carried through this sub-sector. Since in this sector training facility is very negligible and only BIWTA maintains a Deck and Engine Personnel Training Centre, he feels that there should be government funded additional training academy for this sector.
The Chairman realized that development budget allocation for this sector is also very meager and urged that the government should increase allocation according to its share of transportation.
Dr. Samsuddoha also discussed the achievements of BIWTA during the four and half years of the ongoing tenure of the present government. Despite many limitations, the achievements, he mentioned, are of course praise-worthy.
In this context, the Chairman said that beginning in 1958, today BIWTA has taken a stand of glorified tradition, adding that the organization has been passing a very golden and memorable time in the last four years and a half, especially during the ongoing tenure of the present government of Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, for conservation, identifying and construction of waterway infrastructures and improvement of management activities of port system across the country. He also mentioned that during this time, not only huge development activities have been implemented in creating navigable facilities and improving activities of port management but also the revenue income of BIWTA has increased remarkably.
The Chairman disclosed that realizing the gravity of IWT Sector the government has already undertaken an IWT Master Plan to address all sorts of challenges and problems of the sector on holistic approach and in line with the government plan BIWTA is committed to address all issues of challenges and developments in IWT Sector of Bangladesh.
The Chairman, who is a highly experienced public servant to the government and also a highly qualified person, replied to several questions asked by this Correspondent of The Guardian, covering the entire activities of BIWTA, its various limitations and contributions to the nation, including the problems and potentials of the IWT Sector in Bangladesh. His deliberations are not simply interesting but also highly informative and educative as well. The excerpts of his valuable interview are presented here for The Guardian readers at home and abroad:
The Guardian: Please give us a brief introduction to the history of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) through which it has been able to come to its today’s position.
Chairman: You know Bangladesh, a flat alluvial delta, is a land of three mighty rivers- the Jamuna (Brahmaputra), the Padma (Ganges) and the Meghna and their tributaries- have become the most significant and vital network of waterway transportation from the very early days in this part of the Indo-Pak Sub-Continent. Mechanized paddle steamers of the India General Navigation and Railways Ltd used to run their steamers right from Goalanda up to Mugher in the province of Bihar and up to Sadia in Assam till the early part of the 20th century. This indicates the vastness of network of the riverine transport system covering the provinces of Bengal, Bihar and Assam during the British regime.
‘Lord William Bentinck’ was the first inland steamer that propelled in the river Ganges in 1834. Then the India General Navigation and Railway Company Ltd (IGNR), the first inland steamer company was floated on February 6, 1844. During the British period, there were mainly two IWT operators namely IGNR and River Steamer Navigation (RSN) and operators carried out the river conservancy work generally. During the early period of Pakistan, eight principal operators organized IWT operation. Improvement and development of IWT sector were conditioned by profit motives of the companies.
To set up an authority for development, maintenance and control of inland water transport and of certain inland navigable waterways, the then government promulgated an ordinance on 31st October, 1958 which was known as East Pakistan Inland Water Transport Authority Ordinance, 1958 (i.e. Ordinance No. LXXV of 1958). Through this ordinance, East Pakistan Inland Water Transport Authority (EPIWTA) came into being. On November 4, 1958 the government by an order constituted the Authority headed by a chairman and two members. After liberation of Bangladesh, the same Authority was named as Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA).
Over the years, the Authority ameliorated the sector to a large extent addressing all the challenging issues successfully. At present, we maintain more than 6000-km waterways activating all sorts of support system including aids to navigation, making necessary dredging, keeping, survey, producing tide table, keeping about 410 pontoons across the country and port facilities across the country. As a result, the fleet and capacity increased tremendously.
The Guardian: Would you also give us an idea about the institutional network of BIWTA across the country? In this context, would you say how far BIWTA is able to keep its network operative in real sense?
Chairman: To administer and guide the vast network of inland transportation system BIWTA currently maintains 6,000-km waterways, though there remain 24,000-km waterways across the country. But length of navigable waterways in monsoon is 5968 km and in dry season is 3865 km, whereas least available depth range is 3.90 m to 1.50 m but annual water discharge is 1400 billion cubic metres and annual quantum of silt is 2.5 billion tons. However, in waterways 87.80 millions of passengers and 0.58 million tons of cargo are carried per year.
Based on the practical reasons, the waterways of Bangladesh have been classified into four categories, mainly depending on least available depth (LAD) ranging from 3.90 m to 1.50 m. The table here below shows all these four categories in detail.
BIWTA also maintains the following facilities to keep the waterways always active and operative around the country:
1. Maintenance dredging,
2. Pontoon construction and installation,
3. Jetty/ ferry ghat or landing point construction,
4. Provision of quick communication facilities like VHF,
5. Manpower training,
6. Hydrographic survey, data collection and tide table publication,
7. Installation of navigational aids,
8. Salvage operation including removal of wrecks,
9. Development or capital dredging,
10. Procurement of dredgers, survey/inspection/salvage vessels, aids to navigation (buoys, beacon etc.),
11. Development of landing station and ferry ghat/ terminals,
12. Efficient development of inland transport and training of inland crews,
13. Development harbor facilities of inland transport and providing weather forecasting facilities.
Currently, there are more than 300 vessels of 40 listed companies engaged in transportation. All these installations, infrastructures and vessels are for administrative and service purpose for IWT network. Nothing is for commercial purpose. In my view, the above set up of infrastructure is well enough to facilitate the players, users and stakeholders in this sector.
The Guardian: In this context, would you also discuss the present areas of services as well as activities of BIWTA in brief?
Chairman: BIWTA as the oldest statutory organization of the country is mainly involved in development, maintain, control and operation of inland water transport system. In order to facilities a smooth water transport system the organization provides varieties of services or activities which are also mandated to perform have been detailed below:
1. Development and Maintenance of Inland Waterway
2. Placement of Aids to Navigation
3. Maintenance of navigability of Inland waterways
4. Carryout Hydrographic Survey of Inland and Coastal Area and Publication of River Chats
5. Dissemination of navigational and meteorological information
6. Draw up programmes of dredging requirements and maintenance of existing inland navigable waterways
7. Providing pilotage services
8. Development, Maintenance and Operation of Inland River Ports and Landing Stations
9. Salvage of Sunken Water Crafts and Removal of Wrecks and Obstructions from the Navigational Channels
10. Traffic Survey of Passengers and Cargo in Inland Waterways
11. Fixation of Fares and Freight for Inland Water Transport
12. Issuance of Route Permit/Time Table for Passenger Services/Carriers
13. Working as Competent Authority under the Bangladesh-India Protocol on IWTT and
14. Arrange Training for Deck and Engine Personnel
The Guardian: In this regard, would you inform us about the present number of personnel working at various levels in BIWTA and say whether the number is sufficient?
Chairman: There are 4,287 posts in the present set up of the organization approved by the government. Of these, 575 are officers and 3712 are staff and workers. According to category of employees the approved manpower is shown in the following table.
You see there is a huge shortage of manpower. Of course, this needs to be filled up immediately to make the strength of the organization so that it can work expectedly.
The Guardian: Would you say something about the efficiency of the existing manpower?
Chairman: About efficiency, I would just inform you that there is a set rule to appoint experienced personnel as well as personal appraisal system in the organization. Also a chain of command is always working among top boss to grassroots’ employees. In a word, we come to the conclusion that efficiency of present employees is up to the mark.
The Guardian: Would you discuss staff support system of BIWTA including logistics, training and motivation prevailing in the organization?
Chairman: Yes, we have satisfactory number of qualified employees. We employ every personnel through a rigorous aptitude/merit test. After that, we provide grounding training to every employee to whom it applies. At present, we have about thirty foreign trained officers. We maintain a dedicated training institute, namely Deck and Engine Personnel Training Centre at Narayanganj, for producing competent personnel for the sector. Here we provide training free of tuition fee. Moreover, we provide messing, lodging and uniform. We maintain a continuous process to send employees to local training centres like BPATC, RPATC, APD, BIM, Bangla Academy and such other academies or institutions.
The Guardian: Would you say as the single wing of the government to administer the IWT sector, how far BIWTA is performing in the overall development of waterways? What kind of modern facilities and devices BIWTA currently provide for smooth operation of the sector? What further steps should also be taken to enhance the facilities?
Chairman: You know everywhere there is a limitation as well as budget constraint. Within the constraint, we have a minimum infrastructure needed to keep the sector operational. About modern facilities, I could not tell you whether these are modern or not. I would just assure you that these are at least bare minimum to keep support the total sub-sector operational activities. We have to adjust the toll, tax and revenue with user’s capacity.
Our toll and conservancy charge is very minimal. We keep this as low as possible considering the users’ capacity. We have shortage of dredgers (existing dredgers are old), very low capacity old salvage units. We need sufficient budget, especially development assistance from the government to procure all these modern equipment for smooth functioning of the sector. We have a plan to procure two new salvage vessels in addition to the old two. Then we also have to acquire two modern dredgers to equip the organization. We immediately need sufficient budget for dredgers. Any way, we have different tier of plan to provide modern infrastructure and facilities for the users.
The Guardian: As we already came to know that the number of personnel is not sufficient to carry out BIWTA’s huge activities across the country, would you say what further step should be taken in this regard?
Chairman: Though we have shortages of personnel and need to fill up the vacant posts, but the number of personnel that we have is dedicated to perform huge activities of BIWTA across the country. We have 14 departments for various purposeful services. The latest department is Marine Safety and Traffic Management. This department is to specifically address the drawbacks of the safety measures as well as to prevent accidents in the sector. In short, I believe, BIWTA has sufficient number of experts and experienced employees to serve the sector.
The Guardian: Would you say something about the management system of BIWTA and say what further steps should be taken to improve the efficiency of management for overall development of the IWT sector?
Chairman: For organizational set up, I personally feel that there should be a post of Member (Operation/ Admin); the very ordinance also keeps the option open. Another change can be considered that is incorporation of a representative from the Ministry of Shipping to the Board, the highest decision making body. This will bring better liaison with the Administrative Ministry. The government can consider this point positively.
You know we have eleven major operational river ports, eleven declared ports to be developed phase-wise and about 827 ghats under this body. For ports, land lease agreement with the GOB is for 30 years, in my view, which is not sufficient. It should be 99 years lease agreement.
In our field offices, especially in ports, we have representatives of several departments. We serve a circular appointing focal point. There should be cooperation as well as coordination among the representatives. Focal point personnel, as local management body, are directed to make consecrated and coordinated efforts to address all the challenging issues forthwith. Within a specific period this focal officers will meet, discuss the challenging issues and take measures to solve the problems. Also they come out with the point as how to better serve the sector.
The Guardian: Would you tell us something about the functions and powers of the Chairman and how far the Chairman is able in performing his assigned responsibilities smoothly in an environment where he has to face a multitude of pressure in and outside the office in a difficult socio-politico-economic context of Bangladesh?
Chairman: Look, Chairman of BIWTA means the Chairman appointed under section 4 of the Inland Water Transport Authority Ordinance of 1958. The Authority shall, subject to permission and approval of the government, have power to enforce rules and regulations or any law, either wholly or of in part, pertaining to inland waterways and the control of traffic thereon. In short, Chairman, as regulatory and administrative Authority, can issue executive order under his jurisdiction. The Chairman, Members or Officers and Employees of the Authority in respect of anything done or intended to be done, in good faith under this ordinance enjoy the legal immunity.
The Guardian: Would you inform us about the length of water route around the country and also inform about the number of inland river ports, terminals and landing stations and other infrastructure around the country?
Chairman: Almost a similar question is already answered. You know the country is covered by a network of about 24,000 kilometers of rivers, canals etc. Presently, about 6,000 kilometers of river routes remain navigable but it is reduced to almost 3,865 kilometers in the lean period. Among these routes about 2,368 kilometers is kept operational during day and night navigation.
At present there are 22 inland river ports ( based at Dhaka, Narayanganj, Barisal, Chandpur, Khulna, Baghabari, Patuakhali, Narsingdi, Aricha, Nagarbari, Daulatdia) including 11 newely gazetted ports ( based at Tongi, Mawa, Char-Janajat, Ashuganj-Bhairab Bazar, Bhola, Barguna, Noyapara, Munshiganj, Chhatak, Meghna Ghat, Cox’s Bazar).
There are 448 secondary riverine stations, 374 landing points (without infrastructure), 23 coastal stations, 5 differential global positioning systems (DGPS) stations, 24 pilot stations (based at Chittagong, Char Gagaria, Chandpur, Naryangonj, Badder Bazar, Bhirab, Lipsa, Barisal, Kowkhali, Mongla, Khulna, Angtihara, Maowa, Paturia, Kawlia, Sirajgonj, Chandan Baishis, Bahadurabad, Bilmari, Dai-Khawa, Jakigonj, 8 ferry terminals, and 25 field offices.
Currently, there are 10 dredgers, 81 inland survey and inspection vessels and 410 pontoons and barges remain operative under the network of BIWTA across the country.
The Guardian: In this context, would you discuss the system of management and operational activities of ports, terminals and landing stations and also say what interactions the BIWTA maintains with the other partners in these regards?
Chairman: Our field offices, especially ports, are within the same management system of BIWTA. Field officers are to pursue the functions of the Authority stipulated in the Ordinance. Under ISO 1976, a Port Officer works as Deputy Conservator of Port. In addition, chain of command, personnel appraisal system and respective job description (liability and responsibility) solidify the management in the field level.
Yes, we have cooperation with private parties like Bangladesh Launch Malik Samity, Cargo Vessel Owners’ Association, Nou Protocol Operators’ Association, Nou Karma-chari Kalyan Samity. Recently we met them several times and took numeral decisions for safe and secure management of vessels, passengers and cargo during ensuing Eid vacations.
The Guardian: What are the existing system of leasing out various ghats and other installations including offshore around the country and what more realistic steps should be taken to improve the overall system for the sake of national interest?
Chairman: At present, all ghats, toll stations, landing places, canals and other facilities around the country developed by BIWTA are leasing out through open tendering method. I think the present system is realistic to increase the revenue through private participation on the basis of market forces.
The Guardian: Would you give us an account about the total number of BIWTA fleet and their role in the inland water transport sector?
Chairman: At presence BIWTA has a fleet of 101 vessels including dredgers, tug boats, workboats, and house boats, buoy tender vessels, salvage vessels etc. We have two buoy tender vessels used in the southern and coastal areas for laying, shifting and lifting buoys. The Coastal Survey Vessels are used for the hydrographic survey and collection of marine data in the coastal waters while survey. Some work-boats are for survey in comparatively shallow inland waterways. All the Buoy Tender and Coastal Survey Vessels and Survey Workboats are fitted with DGPS (Deferential Global Positioning System), set Echo-Sunders, SSB Communication sets, winches and derricks for collection of marine data. Tugs are used for placement/shifting of Pontoons, barges and dredgers. Hamza, Rustom and newly collected Nirveek and Prottoy are four gigantic vessels to salvage sunken vessels/objects/pontoons etc. Dredgers and their ancillary crafts are required for undertaking dredging of the waterways. Training vessel of DEPTC is used for providing practical training to the trainees. We have also one floating dock for repair work. Present size of the BIWTA fleet is insufficient as compared to the minimum necessity. To strengthen the fleet, BIWTA is going to procure two units of salvage vessels each of 250 tons capacity.
The Guardian: Would you tell us something about the BIWTA conservancy works and aids to navigation in the development of the inland waterways around the country?
Chairman: BIWTA is responsible to provide aids to navigation such as marks, buoys, lights, signals and to carryout river conservancy works to guide the water crafts in the rivers. It maintains 3865 km of waterways in the dry period and about 6000 km in the monsoon period. As navigational aids are pre-requisite for safe navigation BIWTA is putting various types of marking, signs, lighted buoys, beacons, wreck buoys for marking smooth plying of water crafts. Day and night navigation facilities are available in the transportation of inland waterways sub-sector.
The Guardian: Would you also discuss the dredging and bandalling activities of BIWTA across the country?
Chairman: Bandalling is a specific technical activity which is done by designated department (Conservancy and Pilotage Dept.) according to need. So far as I understand it is an alternative and low-cost maintenance dredging method that is used in some specific non-tidal river stretches. Bandals are nothing but a set of bamboo mat panels supported by a frame of bamboo poles placed vertically about one foot above the bed level to the top at the water level. It is very important to place the bandals at upright and at an angle of about 45 degrees with the main flow. As a result the flow of water can be diverted and channel can be maintained navigable. Statistical data is applicable because it is done on the basis of necessity.
Inland Waterways in Bangladesh face serious navigational problems during the dry season due to siltation on the river bed and recession of the water level. To maintain the and shortage of dredgers BIWTA could not meet the dredging requirement in all routes. Presently BIWTA undertakes limited dredging programme with a fleet of seven dredgers procured around 40 years ago. Three dredgers have been added in the fleet and the programmes for procurement of more dredgers in phases are in hand.
The Guardian: Would you reflect on pilotage services of the BIWTA and its impact on the waterways around the country?
Chairman: Pilotage service is a navigational aid to vessels. There are as many as 24 pilot stations with 315 pilots scattered all over the IWT network. The pilots are well acquainted with the local and changing condition of the river. Under the Government Regulation, to receive pilotage services on some routes are compulsory for all vessels having a hull of one hundred tons or above displacement. Ideally, the need for pilotage services may be reduced to a minimum by optimizing inland navigability information services and navigational aids.
The Guardian: Would you discuss the various wrecks and obstructions in the waterways and also discuss the role of BIWTA in removing the wrecks and obstructions?
Chairman: Wreck removal is one of the statutory responsibilities of BIWTA. At present we have four crane ships Hamza, Rustom, Nirveek and prottoy oriented for wreck removal and salvage. There is no wreck which can create obstacles at this time anywhere in the waterways under the jurisdiction of BIWTA. Realizing the gravity of the situation, BIWTA has acquired two high capacity new salvage ships, Nirveek and Prottoy, which increase the current number of salvage ship to four.
The Guardian: Would you also give us an idea about the hydrographic services rendered by BIWTA and its importance in the development of the waterways?
Chairman: Hydrographic survey and allied data collection on a continuous basis is a basic need of Bangladesh not only for the activities relating to the improvement of navigational channels but also for effective planning of development project in various sectors of the country. It’s a pre-requisite for the conservancy works in the waterways including dredging, bandalling and positioning of aid to navigation for navigational purposes
The Guardian: Would you also discuss the dissemination of navigational meteorological and tidal information activities rendered by BIWTA and its impact on the IWT sector?
Chairman: BIWTA introduced Differential Global Position Fixing System (DGPS) which provide accurate position for navigational, hydrographic survey and related activities of inland and coastal waters of Bangladesh. BIWTA maintains an extensive network of water level reader gauges along inland waterways extending over the entire coastal belt and off-shore. These are to collect data for compilation analysis and finally to publish under the caption “Bangladesh Tide Tables” on yearly basis. These guide vessels about water level as well as tide. BIWTA all the time hoist flag at the river port indicating storm signals across the country.
The Guardian: In this context, would you also discuss the interactions of BIWTA with BIWTC. Department of Shipping, Chittagong Port, Mongla Port, Land Port, BSC, Met Department, SPARSO, Water Board and other similar organizations at home and aboard?
Chairman: BIWTA is a Statutory Body under the Ministry of Shipping (MoS).Three agencies namely Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA), Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC) and Department of Shipping (DOS) are the extended arms of the MOS through which it executes the Govt. functions. Besides, these regulatory bodies, one Land Port Authority and two other Sea Ports (Chittagong and Mongla) Authorities are under the control of the Ministry of Shipping. Moreover, there are some private ship operators run in the private sector. We have very close relation and interaction with this body. We also have interaction with Bangladesh Water Development Board.
The Guardian: It is learnt that the BIWTA has a marine workshop. Would you discuss the activities of this workshop?
Chairman: BIWTA had a marine workshop at Barishal. Due to geographical location it did not serve as required and so the Authority closed its functions about 5 years ago and redistributed its manpower. We have a floating dock near Alibaharchar under Dhaka River Port. This dock, as of today, has been working well.
The Guardian: It is also learnt that a good number of various private organizations involved with the activities of BIWTA. Would you inform us about the interactions of all those organizations with BIWTA?
Chairman: BIWTA is statutory body working as a wing of government. Our function has been precisely described in the Ordinance. No other body or organization can do that job or even interfere with us. We are providing service stipulated in the Ordinance. So, the question is totally baseless.
The Guardian: Would you please reflect on the various problems which cause to impede the usual speed of development of the waterways in Bangladesh and suggest what realistic steps should be taken to solve all these problems?
Chairman: There are numerous problems that the sector is facing. Major problems are reflected here.
Navigation problems: Many rivers of the country have been on the process of die down. Withdrawal and diversion of waters from Common River by upper riparian country India through Frakka barrage, Tipaimu-khbandth and greater River Linking Project. The Government of Bangladesh should address the issue taking the matter with Indian Government.
Dredging Problem: As rivers are going dry and dry and shoals are increasing at an upward bent navigational problems also increasing with time. We have limited number of dredgers (low capacity because of old) to maintain the navigability across the country.
We also have no such budget for maintenance dredging. Government should allocate substantial amount of money to this account. Government should support and approve our plan to procure new dredgers and repair old ones to improve the efficiency.
Allocation to IWT: IWT sector is playing an important role in transportation. This is natural and environment friendly. About 19% share of transport, freight and passenger carried through this sub-sector. In this sector training facility is very negligable. Only BIWTA maintains a Deck and Engine Personnel Training Centre.
There should be government funded additional training academy. In this sector development budget allocation is very meager. GOB should increase allocation according to its share of transportation.
The Guardian: Would you discuss the reasons of accidents in the waterways and also suggest what effective steps should be taken to avoid the accidents every now and then?
Chairman: Most of the accidents took place due to (a) inefficient drivers/masters- their lack of attention and professionalism (b) lack of maintenance (c) over loading (d) violation of weather forecast (e) navigational problems – shoals (f) defective vessel structure.
Proper manning and training to the sailors is the first and foremost responsibility to the proprietor. The vessels should be technically sound and adequate number of safety equipment. Vessels should avoid over loading, be it passenger or cargo, and follow weather forecast.
The Guardian: Would you discuss the achievements of BITA in the last four and a half years?
Chairman: Beginning in 1958, today BIWTA has taken a stand of glorified tradition. The organization has been passing a very golden and memorable time in the last four years and a half, during the ongoing tenure of the present government of Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, for conservation, identifying and construction of waterway infrastructures and improvement of management activities of port system across the country. During this time, not only huge development activities have been implemented in creating navigable facilities and improving activities of port management but also the revenue income of BIWTA has increased remarkably.
After long 36 years of the Government of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, for the first time in the last year three dredgers at a time have been added to the fleet of BIWTA. On 18 January 2012, Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina formally inaugurated these three dredgers in a huge function organized by BIWTA in Aricha. Besides, the process of action for quickly collecting 11 more dredgers is going on.
Night navigation has already started in 52 km long waterways, which is very important for transportation of goods in the northern region of Bangladesh. On 19 February 2012, Hon’ble Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan formally inaugurated this night navigation.
Navigability of 40 km waterway in the rivers of Balu and Turag under the 2nd phase of all-round waterway project of Dhaka city has been completed. Landing station in Kanchpur and a terminal in Tongi river port have been constructed. Hon’ble Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan inaugurated Kanchpur landing station on 26 February 2012 and Tongi river port terminal on 2 June 2012.
The demand of the people of southern part of the country have been fulfilled through the construction of a modern terminal in second largest passenger port of Bangladesh, say of the world, in Barisal river port. Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the terminal in a gorgeous function organized by BIWTA.
To create trained and efficient marine work force, BIWTA has taken initiative to set up training institute in region wise. Accordingly, in the area of marine factory of BIWTA the activities of Deck & Engine Personnel Training Centre (DEPTC) have started