The National Committee to Protect Shipping, Roads and Railways on Wednesday urged the authorities concerned to take early action to protect the maritime transport system including three international seaports from the adverse effects of global climate change.
The civic organisation also demanded that the entire coastal area including the Sundarbans should be protected from this threat by bringing it under planned development.
President of the organisation Haji Md. Shahid Mia and its general secretary Ashis Kumar Dey made this call in a joint statement.
The statement said that due to climate change, the sea level of the Bay of Bengal countries including Bangladesh is increasing alarmingly.
Besides, huge amount of river-borne silt accumulates every year in the channels of Chittagong, Mongla and Payra seaports, hampering navigability, it said.
It is gradually reducing the capacity of the seaports and shrinking the inland and coastal shipping system, said the statement. Along with this, river erosion and land erosion are intensifying in the entire coastal region including the Sundarbans area, putting coastal life under threat, it added.
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Quoting local and international experts, the statement said, if the situation does not change, Chittagong, Mongla and Payra international seaports will loss capacity by 2030 and inland and coastal maritime communication will be disrupted.
Since 90 percent of Bangladesh's import-export trade is dependent on these ports, the trade sector will be in dire straits, they said.
In the statement, the National Committee leaders said that there will be no alternative to the deep sea port in the near future to keep the ongoing import-export trade unhindered.
They also demanded that planned and long-term dredging should be started in the shipping channels and practical steps should be taken to protect the coast.