Dhaka seeks foreign aid to dredge silted rivers

May 7th, 2009 - 1:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Sheikh Hasina Dhaka, May 7 (IANS) Bangladesh has sought foreign aid to dredge all its rivers and has told prospective donors that funds provided would be properly used.
The assurance came from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina who met envoys of different countries and heads of international agencies, The Daily Star newspaper said Thursday.

The work would begin on Gorai river, including the Sunderbans in south-western Bangladesh close to India’s West Bengal state, Hasina said.

Next on the agenda would be dredging of Pashur river to reactivate the Mongla port.

Bangladesh’s principal port at Chittagong too is affected by silting of Karnaphuli river.

Dredging had become essential for both economic and environmental reasons, the prime minister told the envoys.

Nearly all river systems in the country have been silted due to absence of proper dredging.

The prime minister apprised the donors of the government’s plan for dredging and sought cooperation in successfully implementing the plan.

As the matter of proper utilisation of donations and aid was raised in the meeting, the prime minister gave assurance that “all the money will be utilised cent-percent properly”.

Sheikh Hasina voiced concern over the salinity and river-erosion problems and other negative impacts of excessive silting of the rivers.

“To preserve the environment as human-friendly, there is no other way but to dredge the rivers,” she said.

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