KHULNA, Feb 29: The government has taken a mega project involving an outlay of Tk 7.61 crore to make Sundarban free from black smoke and pollution.
Sources concerned said apart from making the world's largest mangrove forest pollution-free, the project has an aim to enhance the navigability of Ghashiakhali Channel and to re-excavate 310 kilometres of 84 water-bodies including a river in Sundarban neighbourhood. The authorities concerned, however, hoped that the project would be completed by December, 2020.
While talking to The Daily Observer, Superintendent Engineer of Water Development Board (WDB) Bazlur Rashid said the WDB has initiated this mega project after taking the Ghashiakhali Channel digging project and it'll involve Tk 7.61 crore.
The project includes water filtration and water reservoir of Urbunia and Perikhali Beel under Mongla and Rampal upazila of Bagerhat district. The re-digging of 83 canals and a river is expected to enhance water flow around Sundarban. The project sources said about 14 kilometres of Daudkhali River and 296 kilometres of canals in total will be re-excavated under the project. Of the 83 canals, the key ones include Kumardanga, Joybangla, Moricher Dana, Goona, Barura, Dayna, Katakhai, Urubunia, Gunor, Putimari, Carkhali, Boara, Peerkhali, Kamranga and Karzon. Meanwhile, the big and moderate ships were seen moving at present through the Ghashiakhali Channel during the tidal bore in Sundarban area.
Both banks of the channel can't be used for vessel movement during the tidal bore, said Bazlur adding that the vessels were moving through an additional 100 kilometres of areas due to the existing navigability problem. The vessels usually cross through Shela and Dudhmukha Rivers while going to the Baleshwar River.
"That's why, we couldn't run Dhaka-Khulna steamer (rocket) service even after trying on several occasions. On completion of the project, we will be able to run Dhaka-Khulna steamer service using the Mongla-Ghashiakhali Channel," he said.
Black smoke and sound pollution are, he observed, hampering the wildlife in Sundarban these days. After completing the project, the vessels will run through Ghasiakhali Channel instead of Shela and Dudmukhi Rivers. When contacted, Talukder Abdul Khaleque, MP, told this correspondent that the Shipping and Water Resources Ministries took up the mega project last year to make Sundarban noise pollution-free.