Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has inaugurated four new marine academies alongside various types of organisational infrastructure and over a hundred vessels under the purview of the Ministry of Shipping.
“All of this is in the interest of the people,” Hasina said from the Ganabhaban on Thursday. “So, I am happy to inaugurate them.”
The four marine academies were built in Pabna, Barishal, Rangpur and Sylhet under instructions from the prime minister to make use of job opportunities for sailors on seafaring vessels and Bangladesh’s participation in the international shipping business. The initiative has cost Tk 5.21 billion.
About 400 cadets will graduate from the academies a year, and seafaring marines will be able to receive training.
The prime minister also launched 20 cutter-suction dredgers, 83 dredger assisting vessels and the Narayanganj dredger base under the purview of the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority, or BIWTA.
The number of dredgers available to the BIWTA will increase by 20 to 45 this year. The government is also looking to obtain 35 more dredgers.
Also inaugurated at the event were the training vessel ‘TS Ilias Ahmed Chowdhury (Dada Bhai)’, special inspection vessel ‘Poridorshi’, and BIWTC coastal passenger vessels ‘MV Tajuddin Ahmad’ and ‘MV Ivy Rahman’.
According to the Shipping Ministry, the two state-of-the-art coastal passenger vessels had been added to the BIWTC fleet to strengthen their efficiency and keep them up to date. The two vessels will operate on the Sandwip Channel’s Kumira-Guptachhara route and the Chattogram-Sandwip-Hatia-Barishal route.
The BIWTC also plans to add another 35 commercial vessels and eight more supporting vessels.
Hasina also flagged off work on the transfer of 500 homes to relocate the landowners of the area used for the construction of Bangladesh’s third seaport at Payra. Over time, some 3,423 families are to be relocated.