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Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA)

Brief

To set up Authority for development, maintenance and control of inland water transport and of certain inland navigable waterways the then East Pakistan Government on 31st October 1958 promulgated an ordinance called the East Pakistan Inland water Transport Authority Ordinance 1958 (E.P. Ordinance, NO LXXV of 1958). On November 4, 1958 the Government by an order constituted a three member Authority of East Pakistan Inland Water Transport Authority (EPIWTA). The BIWTA came in to existence on promulgation of the above ordinance 1958 as the successor of the former EPIWTA. An advisory committee have subsequently been constituted to advise the authority in respect of all matters related to development, maintenance and operation of inland water transport and of inland waterways in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh has about 24,000 km. of rivers, streams and canals that together cover about 7% of the country's surface. Most part of the country is linked by a complex network of waterways which reaches its extensive size in the monsoon period. Out of 24,000 km. of rivers, streams and canals only about 5,968 km. is navigable by mechanized vessels during monsoon period which shrinks to about 3,865km. during dry period. The IWT sector carries over 50% of all arterial freight traffic and one quarter of all passenger traffic.

 

Manpower

There are 4,290 posts in the present set up of the organization approved by the Government. Of these, 574 are officers and 3,716 are staff and workers which are given below:

Upto 31-05-2014
Category
Approved
Existing
Vacant
Class I
296
252
44
Class II
278
243
35
Class III
1530
1319
211
Class IV
2186
1589
597
Total = 
4,290
3403
887

 

 

 
Manpower
Total
Officer
Staff
Class I
Class II
Class III
Class IV
Approved
296
278
1530
2186
4290
Existing
252
243
1319
1589
3403
Male
240
216
1200
1558
3214
Female
12
27
119
31
189

The activities / functions

As per Section 15 of the Ordinance E. P. Ordinance No. LXXV of 1958; Amendment Ordinance No. LV of 1977, the Authority performs statutory functions of development, maintenance and regulatory nature.

Development and Maintenance functions


Carry out river conservancy works including river training works for navigational purposes and for 

   provision of aids to navigation including marks, buoys, lights and semaphore signals;
Disseminate navigational and meteorological information including publication of river charts;
Provide pilotage and hydrographic survey services;
Draw up programmers of dredging requirements and priorities for efficient maintenance of existing

   navigable waterways and for resuscitation of dead or dying rivers, channels, or canals, including

   development of new channels and canals for navigation;
Develop, maintain and operate inland river ports, landing/ferry ghats and terminal facilities in such

   ports or ghats;
Carry out removal of wrecks and obstruction in inland navigable waterways;
Conduct traffic surveys to establish passenger and cargo requirements on the main rivers, feeders

   and creek routes;
Develop rural water transport by progressing of schemes for modernising and mechanizing country

   craft;
Ensure co-ordination of Inland Water Transport with other forms of transport, with major sea ports,

  and with trade and agricultural interests for the optimum utilisation of the available

  transport capacity;
Conduct research in matters relating to Inland Water Transport including development of
        ● Craft design
        ● Technique of towage
        ● Landing and terminal facilities
        ● Port installations
Arrange programmes of technical training for Inland Water Transport personnel within and outside Bangladesh;
Maintain liaison with the shipyard and ship repair industry to meet the requirements of the Inland

   Water Transport fleet repairs and new constructions;

● Maintain liaison with the Government and facilitate import of repair materials for the Inland Water Transport Industry; and

Prepare plans or schemes for carrying out any of the above mentioned functions.

 

Regulatory functions

a). Fixation of maximum and minimum fares and freight rates for Inland Water Transport on behalf of the Govt.;
b). Approve time tables for passenger launch services.
c). Inspection ships, cargo and inland vessels to ensure compliance with the provision of ISO -1976
d). Act as the Competent Authority of Bangladesh for the Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade (PIWTT) looking after the use of  waterways of Bangladesh on behalf of the Govt. of Bangladesh for the purpose of trade and transit between Bangladesh and India as provided in the Protocol.

Establishment / service Centre


Inland River ports – 22 nos. (Dhaka, Narayanganj, Barisal, Chandpur, Khulna, Baghabari, Patuakhali, Narsingdi, Aricha, Nagarbari, Daulatdia) and 11 nos. newely gazatted (Tongi, Mawya, Char-Janajat, Ashuganj-Bhairab Bazar, Bhola, Bargona, Nawyapara, Munshigonj, Chatak, Meghna Ghat, Cox's Bazar).
Secondary riverine station (Developed) – 448nos.
Landing points (without infrastructure) – 374 nos.
Coastal Station – 23 nos.
Ferry terminals Nos. – 08 nos.
Field offices – 25 nos.
Pilot Stations – 24 nos (Chittagong, Ramgoti, Barishal, Chandpur, Naryangonj, Natua Para, Madaripur, Kowkhali, Mongla, Khulna, Angtihara, Maowa, Aricha, Kawlia, Sirajgonj, Kazipur, Bahadurabad, Chilmari, Dai-Khawa, Patuakhali, Bhuirab Bazar, Lipsa, Paturia, Badder Bazar.)
Annual passengers carried – 50 million
No. of existing Dredgers – 7 nos.
Inland survey and inspection vessels – 81 nos.
Pontoon and barge – 410 nos.
Differential Global Positioning Systems (DGPS) Stations – 5 nos.(Name of Station & Address)

 

 
Information of waterways

 

Length of inland waterways                      
 
: 24,000 km.
Length of navigable waterways                   
        Monsoon                                          
        Dry season                                       

 

5968 km.

: 3865 km.

Least available depth range : 3.90 m to 1.50 m.
Annual water discharge (Source:BWDB)  : 1400 billion cubic meter.
Annual quantum of silt (Source: BWDB) : 2.5 billion tons.
No. of passenger carried (In year) : 87.80 million.
Quantum of cargo carried (In year) : 0.58 million ton.
 

Status of inland waterways

The waterways of Bangladesh have been classified into four categories depending on least available depth (LAD) ranging from 3.90 m to 1.50m.

 

Name of Route

Minimum Depth

 Length of Route and Percentage

Minimum
Vertical
Clearance

Minimum
Horizontal
Clearance

Class- I

3.66 m

683 km (11.39%)

18.30 m

76.22 m

Class- II

2.13 m

1027 km(17.13%)

12.20 m

76.22 m

Class -III

1.52 m

1885 km(31.44%)

7.62 m

30.48 m

Class -IV

Less than 1.52 m

2400 km(40.04%)

5.00 m
 

20.00 m

Total

 

5995 km(100%)

 

 

 

Activities under Revenue budget

 

Maintenance dredging
Pontoon construction and installation
Jetty/ Ferry ghat or landing point construction
Provision of quick communication facilities like VHF
Manpower training
Hydrographic Survey, Data collection & Tide table publication
Installation of navigational aids
Salvage operation including removal of Wrecks.

 

Activities under development budget
 

Development and capital dredging.
Procurement of Dredger's, Pontoon, Survey/Inspection/Salvage Vessels, Aids to navigation (bouys, 

   beacon, etc).
Development of landing station and ferry ghat/terminals.
Efficient development of inland transport and training of Inland Crews.
Development harbor facilities of inland transport and providing weather forecasting

   facilities.

 

Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade between Bangladesh and India.

 To utilize the rivers for transportation of goods between the two countries and for transportation of  goods from  one Indian place to another Indian place, there exists a Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade between Bangladesh  and India. The current protocol is valid upto 31st March, 2009.

To transport the inter-country trade cargo following ‘Ports of Call’ have been designated under the Protocol:

 

Bangladesh

India

Narayanganj

Kolkata

Khulna

Haldia

Mongla

Pandu

Sirajganj

Karimganj

 

Under the Protocol, eight IWT routes have been designated for the porpose of transport. Following are the main transit routes:

  1. Kolkata  –       Pandu
  2. Kolkata  –       Karimganj
  3. Karimganj -     Pandu

Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) have been appointed by the Government as Competent Authority for all working under the Protocol, while Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) by the Indian Government.

Number of trips on inter Country Trade under the Protocol Since 2006-2007 to 2009-2010 (March)

 

Year

Round Trip by Bangladeshi vessels

Round Trip by Indian vessels

Total Under Protocol Route

2006-2007

2,540

00

2,540

2007-2008

2,976

02

2,980

Oct' 2008- June' 2009

1,031

11

1,042

July' 2009 – March' 2010

1301

7

1,308

 
Statistics of Inter-country cargo carried by Bangladesh and India vessels in metric ton and Ratio
since 2006-2007 to March-2010
 

Year

Carried by Bangladeshi vessels (M.ton)

Carried by Indian vessels (M.ton)

Total carried

(M.ton)

Percentage

(Bangladesh : India)

1

2

3

2+3

 

2006-2007

8,81,011

8,81,011

100 : 00

2007-2008

9,94,345

1,900

9,96,245

99.80 : 0.20

2008-2009

9,30,094

14,328

9,44,422

98.48 : 1.52

July' 2009 – March' 2010

9,50,109

3,591.74

9,53,700.74

99.62 : 0.38

 

Statistics of transit trade cargo transported under the Protocol on IWT & T between Bangladesh and India (in M.ton)

Name of Route

2007-08

2008-09

2009-March'2010

Kolkata-Dhubri(Pandu)

10,318

300

2,991.74

Dhubri(Pandu)-Kolkata

Nil

Nil

Nil

Kolkata-Karimganj

2,800

14,328

600

Karimganj-Kolkata

188

0.200

Nil

*Entire cargo were carried by Indian vessels.