PV Desk : Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today asked the officials to keep the all river channels navigational saying rivarine Bangladesh would become cripple without maintaining its river ‘vessel’ clean.

She said this while commissioning of the ferry services on Munsigonj-Gazaria river route and other projects of the Shipping Ministry through video conference with the officials and local leaders of Munsigonj district from her Ganobhaban residence here today.

The Prime Minister inaugurated four 158 TEU self-propelled multipurpose inland container ships, and four eight-inch cutter suction amphibian dredger, constructed by the Bangladesh Navy with technical support of South Korea.

Sheikh Hasina said her government wants to build a river network across the country to facilitate connecting every area of the country with river route, a very important mode of transport for low cost travel of the people and carrying the agricultural products.

The prime minister asked the deputy commissioners to change the sand-quarries of the rivers from where sands are being extracted for centuries, causing severe erosion. She laid importance on conducting a survey on feasibility of a sand-quarry and planned extraction plan.

Sheikh Hasina said the ferry service between Munsigonj and Gazaria would fulfil a commitment of her government to the local people.

Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan spoke and Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Nizamuddin Ahmed was present on the occasion conducted by PM’s Principal Secretary Md. Najibur Rahman. Secretary of the shipping ministry Md. Abdus Samad gave a presentation on the acquisition of the shipping ministry.

Deputy Commissioner of Munsigonj district Shaila Farzana and a number of local public representatives spoke on the occasion from Munsigonj side while local parliament members, political leaders and senior officials were present.

Sheikh Hasina said her government has given importance to development of Munsigonj considering its importance due to its geographical location. The district has turned into a hub of communication between capital city Dhaka and country’s southern region, she said.

Potentiality of the district in producing many agricultural goods particularly potato should not be destroyed, she said the Padma Bridge has enhanced the importance to the district as the gateway of the southern region.

Sheikh Hasina said Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had taken initiative for dredging of the rivers after independence despite severe financial constraint, considering the importance of river routes in country’s economy. But the rulers following 1975 political change didn’t give any attention to the matter.

The prime minister said her government had to work hard for last nine years to bring the country to the present position and achieving the status of becoming developing country. The nation has lost seven years from their life as Awami League was barred from coming to power in 2001, she said.