Eighty-five percent of the country’s inland waterway vessels are running without licence. Although there are currently over 1 lakh of such vessels in the country, only 15,850 of them have come under registration. As a result, security remains lax, while the government keeps losing revenue.
Inland vessels are those that mainly operate in waterways within the country, not the ocean.
Director General of the Department of Shipping Commodore Md Nizamul Haque said the department is struggling to enforce shipping laws as all vessels have not come under registration.
“If these vessels are included in the registration, it will be possible to ensure safety. Besides, the government’s revenue will also increase,” said the DG.
He also informed about the initiative to take up the project of registration of unregistered vessels.
In the meeting, it was suggested that the number of seafarers (sailors) be increased through special programmes.
Meanwhile, in yesterday’s meeting, some complaints presented by the river commission in the previous meeting of the committee were refuted.
State Minister of Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury, a member of the committee, said that some statements of the National River Protection Commission are not in favour of the interests of the government and country.
It is necessary to take strict decisions in the parliamentary committee so that those who are with the government do not go beyond the law and the government’s directives,”the junior minister said.
According to the press release of the parliament secretariat, the committee also recommended a re-examination of the existing projects of the shipping ministry because of the revolutionary changes in the shipping communication system, especially in the southern region, due to the launch of the Padma Bridge.
The committee also recommended emphasising the importance of river dredging and proper operation and maintenance of all walkways.