The government has taken an initiative to set up 45 terminal pontoons at different river ports to develop the ports and improve the passenger services. State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury inaugurated the construction work of the pontoons at Ananda Shipyard at Meghnaghat in Narayngonj on Sunday.
Addressing the inaugural function, the state minister said, “Unprecedented development has taken place in the shipping sector under the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. We want to flourish the shipping sector utilising the blue economy.” Khalid Mahmud said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been successful in all challenges for the development in the country. Prime Minister has established a rule of law to remove the obstacles to the development of the economy. The present government is a business-friendly government.
At the event, Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) Chairman Commodore M Mahbub-ul Islam said Ananda Shipyard is a renowned company in the country. They have earned good reputation at home and abroad by their good work. Hopefully, they will build and supply quality pontoons in due time. Ananda Shipyard Chairmen DR Abdullahel Bari said, “This is not first time we are working with BIWTA. Earlier, we had successfully built different items required by BIWTA. As a result, the organisation has given us the task of making the pontoons.”
Among others, ASSL Managing Director Afruja Bari was also present on the occasion. Officials said, BIWTA signed an agreement with Ananda Shipyard & Slipways Ltd (ASSL) to buy pontoons worth Tk 97.60 crore on August 22. The length of each pontoon would be 100 feet, width 32 feet and the height 7.5 feet. All pontoons will be set up by 2020.
Of the total 45 pontoons, 15 will be set up at Dhaka River Port at Sadarghat; four at Lalkuthi Ghat; three at Wiseghat; four at Narayanganj River Port; four at Chandpur River Port; three at Bhola River Port; three at Pathuakhali River Port; one at Mirkadim River Port; two at Fatullah Launch Ghat; two at Jhalakathi Launch Ghat; one at Hularhat Launch Ghat; one at Barguna River Port and two at Khulna River Port.
Earlier, a buoy-laying vessel ‘Rangabali’ built for Payra Seaport by Ananda Shipyard & Slipways Ltd (ASSL) was inaugurated on September 4. The ship was officially floated at Meghnaghat in Narayanganj. “Payra Port Authority signed an agreement with ASSL to buy the ship worth Tk 34 crore 49 lakh. The length of the ship is 44 meters, width 9.25 meters and height 3.5 meters,” an ASSL official said.
The new ship will be used for buoy laying and handling at the Payra deep sea port. The buoy is used as markup of navigational routes in the river. It’s a floating structure and each weighs 10-16 tonnes. There are beacons with red and green signal lights. There is a crane with a capacity of 20 tonnes used for buoy handling on the ship.