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Overview

Bangladesh being a country with many rivers, Inland Water Transport (IWT) is a major mode for the transport of goods and people. IWT is the cheapest mode of transport compared to road or rail. Until recently, however, the sector had received little attention from the Government of Bangladesh with only limited resources allocated to its development. In addition, these resources were mostly used to develop the main routes (the ones most used by large mechanized vessels) while secondary rivers and transport using country boats (mainly rural and until recently non-mechanized vessels constructed in traditional design) were given second priority.

 The total length of rivers in Bangladesh is estimated to be in the range of some 24,000 kilometres, providing a very high degree of penetration. Out of this total, 6,000 kilometres are accessible for movement of modern mechanized vessels during the monsoon season, and out of this, some 3,800 kilometres are navigable around the year. Country boats, in the number of several hundred thousands, are traditional vessels which have been plying inland and coastal waters for hundreds of years and which play a key role as a rural mode of transport of goods and people. Inland ports and other facilities include 11 major inland ports, 23 coastal island ports, 133 launch stations and more than 1,000 minor landing points located in rural areas. 


Length of inland waterways

24,000 km

Length of navigable waterways

Monsoon:  5,968 km

Dry season: 3,865 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) 

Total manpower- 1682

58 million tons


During emergencies, there is little probability that it will be used by agencies, being too slow compared to road or helicopter deliveries. Nevertheless at local level, it is probable that many remote areas will – in the initial phases – only be reachable by IWT / coastal sea-trucks.

Navigable River Routes

Both Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) and Corporation (BIWTC) provide pilotage facilities to about 7,000 inland water vessels. They regulate the movement of about 2000 passenger launches and maintains 22 inland ports along with about 800 launch ghats including terminals. Approximate 6000 km Navigable River route is further classified into following 4 categories by BIWTA depending on the drought and clearance:

Class

Minimum Draught

Length & %

Minimum Vertical Clearance

Minimum Horizontal Clearance

Remarks

Class- I

3.66 m

683 km (11%)

18.30 m

76.22 m

Least Available Draft (LAD) of 3.6 m required to be maintained round the year.

Class- II

2.13 m

1000 km (17%)

12.20 m

76.22 m

Links major inland ports or place of economic importance to class I routes

Class –III

1.52 m

1885 km (32%)

7.62 m

30.48 m

Being seasonal in nature, it is not feasible to maintain higher LAD throughout the year

Class –IV

Less than 1.52 m

2400 km (40%)

5.00 m

20.00 m

These are seasonal routes where maintenance of LAD of 1.5m or more in dry season not feasible

Total

5968 km



BIWTC is facilitating passenger and cargo movement in the inland waterways and also offshore islands in the public sector vis-à-vis private sectors. It is operating 35 ferries in different routes. On the other hand, ocean shipping performs 80% of the export-import trade. A WB study reveals that IWT has been the least expensive mode of transport, than that of rail and road. As such, considering the facts of land-man ratio and scarcity of land for further expansion of road networks in the country, IWT sub-sector has given the outmost importance specially dredging various river routes for making them navigable round the year. To develop a balanced and cheap transport system in Bangladesh, it is important to improve IWT both from infrastructure and technological points of view. IWT sub-sector suffers from (i) siltation problem in inland waterways, (ii) day & night navigational problem of waterways, (iii) shortage of passenger & cargo handling facilities including transit shed at river ports, (iv) Presence of manual loading/unloading of cargo at river ports, (v) underdeveloped rural launch landing stations, inadequate number of water crafts both for river and ocean going etc. Moreover, for transportation of containers by inland waterways to and from two seaports, the container handling facilities have not yet been developed. Decades of insufficient investment, and challenged governance Ltd the development of the port sector of the country.

Due to geographical position and topological condition of the country rivers are becoming more and more narrow and thin by siltation. As such, implementation of comprehensive capital dredging program is the biggest challenge for the IWT sub-sector. Specific challenges identified in the sub-sector are: (i) channeling of the existing waterways through massive dredging and procurement of dredgers, (ii) construction of deep sea port to streamline international trade; (iii) improvement of day and night navigation for water crafts by providing navigational aids; and (iv) construction of inland container river port for transportation of containers by waterways to/from sea ports etc.

 Transportation Through Waterways

BIWTA and corporation BIWTC are the 2 main players of the government which keeps the inland waterways navigable and safe for smooth transportation of cargo and passengers. IWT continues to be an important mode of transport not only in the inland movement of freight and passengers but also in the transportation of import and export items through the ports of Chattogram, Mongla, and Payra. The high degree of penetration of the IWT network provides access to about 25% of the rural household in Bangladesh.

IWT has 3 functions with distinct modes of operations and stakeholders:

  • National: This consists of trunk haulage of freight and passenger carriage along the main corridors of demand between the ports and major economic centers (including international). Trips are medium to long distance and high volume movements are recorded. Vessels are modern vessels of large capacity (100 to 1,200 passengers, 20 to 1,800 tons).
  • Local: This consists of feeder, distribution and local traffic. Trips are mostly on short distances with low volume movements to and from (and between) smaller communities. The demand is predominantly for passenger movement but with an important need to accommodate modest freight loads, usually for small enterprise, small-holder or ‘own account’ purposes. Local trips use traditional country boats offering a capacity of up to 100 passengers and 100 tons.
  • Ferries: Ferries link sections of roads separated by large channels in the absence of bridges. Functionally these are an entirely separate category since they are part of the road transport system rather than the IWT system. However, operationally it is sensible to integrate aspects of the ferry services (such as vessel maintenance and repair and river dredging) with those of IWT.

In addition, there exist a dynamic private sector which leads most of the sector activities such as cargo transport, port management and ship building that helps the sector’s contribution to share growth and poverty reduction.

Constraints in waterways system

The inland waterway system is not used to its full potential, due in part to inadequate dredging and shortage of berthing facilities. Tariffs regulated by the Government are insufficient, and as a result boats are overloaded, the cause for more than half of the accidents on waterways. The private sector is more efficient in dredging, and offers a capacity of 6.9 million cubic meters: 2.5 times the capacity of the BIWTA and at lower cost. Improved waterways have the potential to reduce transport costs for bulk cargo and provide better access to areas, such as in the North-West of Bangladesh, where road access is Ltd.

The infrastructure problems on the inland waterways system are significant. Within Bangladesh there is high rate of siltation and bank erosion, and as a result it is difficult for the vessels to navigate along these waterways. Extensive dredging is required to maintain these waterways but unfortunately funds are not available for this work. Major parts of the corridor suffer from navigational hazards, such as shallow water, narrow width of channels and inadequate navigational aids. As a result, night navigation is allowed only on certain sections.

The condition of piers, jetties and other infrastructure in both countries is generally poor. There is a lack of storage facilities; cargo handling equipment and existing support craft such as pilot, mooring and survey boats are in short supply with many of them being unserviceable. The lack of container handling facilities has been cited as a problem. However, it is considered very doubtful whether there will ever be sufficient demand to invest in such specialized facilities.

India has recognized the problem and is taking action to provide new terminals capable of handling containers. Storage facilities are also planned at proposed terminals in India and depending on the utilization of these terminals/routes provision/up-gradation of these facilities could be considered from time to time. If similar facilities are provided in the Bangladesh portion of the protocol routes, it will further enhance utilization of the routes.

The declaration of the Barak River as a National Waterway is also under consideration by the Indian Government. After declaration of this river as a National Waterway, terminal facilities at Bhanga (19 km upstream of Karimganj), and at Badarpur would be taken up by Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI).

Between Bangladesh and India there was a bilateral trade agreement signed in October 1980 with a subsequent Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade between Bangladesh and India agreed in India in October 1999. It has been updated on a regular monthly basis, but the latest agreement signed in June 2015. The movement of vessels between Bangladesh and India is taking place under the provisions of this protocol. At present Cargo vessels are plying quite in good number but Passenger cruise ships have just completed trial runs twice in this year 2019. Once the above difficulties are overcome, use of the waterways both internal and international will get a through momentum in the near future.

River Ports And Landing Facilities

Infrastructure

A large number of facilities spread all over the country offer various levels of services. About 1,400 sites are designated as facilities for river transport. BIWTA is responsible for construction and maintenance of about half of these facilities which fall into four categories:

  • Main ports built, maintained and regulated by BIWTA. Government Acts designate 19 such ports but only 11 have actually been developed. The infrastructure consists of terminal buildings, pontoons, jetties, gangways and godowns or transit sheds.
  • Landing facilities (Ghats) also built and maintained by BIWTA. 373 sites are designated to have such facilities. Infrastructure consists of pontoons or jetties.
  • Landing points for country boats at about 400 locations under BIWTA's responsibility.
  • Landing sites without more than a wooden plank for passenger and freight embarkation and disembarkation.

Warehouses in main ports are usually built by BIWTA and leased to a port operator or another private entity. A port operator or a private developer may be authorized to build its own warehouse as well as jetties and benefit from a reduced lease fee. Public jetties (101 in 8 main ports) are mostly used for passengers while private jetties (178 in 5 main ports) are used for cargo.

Absence of sufficient mooring facilities (ghats) is considered to be one of the factors negatively affecting safety on rural waterways. BIWTA allocates little resources to landing points for country boats. As a result, local authorities or local associations of boat owners develop additional sites. These sites are rudimentary and often do not represent more than a segment of shore with walking access to land.

The fleet of cargo vessels has significantly changed since 1998-99. Dumb barges of 300 tons on average have been replaced by self-propelled vessels of higher capacity of 500 to 700 tons. The total static capacity has increased by about one third from about 750,000 tons to about 1,000,000 tons. The fleet consists of 2,288 units (2,000 cargo vessels, 118 tankers and 170 bay crossing coasters).

The total capacity offered by the fleet is estimated at 76 million passengers and 35.2 million tons. Operators estimate that passenger vessels accomplish one one-way trip per day. 10 percent of the time is assumed to be spent on docking for repair. Cargo vessels make on average 12 trips per year during a period of 330 days.

Dhaka River Port

Location Details

River/Lake name

 Buriganga 

Latitude (N/S Decimal Degrees)

To the north a line is drawn to the east and west near Ashulia across the Turag river at latitude 23˚-52’-30”N 23.70134

Longitude (E/W Decimal Degrees)

To the south a line is drawn to the north and south across the river Buriganga at longitude 90˚-27’-26”E 90.40403

Capacity

Bulk (MT/month)

General Cargo (MT/month)

Total handling capacity of the port

24.902

10.675

Monthly activity of the port

23.935 

10.257

Potential monthly use by WFP

500

Nil

Monthly use if augmented

600 

400

Most of the bulk cargo discharged at this port consist of bricks, sand, stones and other building material whereas food grains are discharged in bagged form. Dhaka river port also has a fuel depot at Futola. Capacity of this fuel depot is 60.000 MT and Monthly activity is 50.793 MT.


 Vessel Specifications


Nb

Bulk

Conventional

Min (m)

Max (m)

Min (m)

Max (m)

Berths

06 

 -

-

-

-

Anchorages

10 

-

-

-

-

Draught at anchor (metres)


 3,66

3,66

3,66

3,66

Draught at Berth

metres

 3,66

3,66

3,66

3,66

Length Over All

metres

 220

240

220

240

 

Port Cargo Equipment (Operational)

Description 

Quantity

Capacity

Shore Cranes

2 Nos

3 MT

Available Storage (covered)

30 Nos

557,40 m³

Available Storage (open air)

20 acres

81076,35 m³

 

Narayanganj River Port

Location Details

River/Lake name

 Shitalakhya

Port Name

 Narayanganj River Port

Region / District

 Narayanganj

Latitude (N/S Decimal Degrees)

To the north a line is drawn to the east and west near Rupganj/ Murapara across the Shitalakhya river at latitude 23˚-27’-00”N 23,5934

Longitude (E/W Decimal Degrees)

To the south a line is drawn to the north and south near Gopchar across the Shitalakhya river at longitude 90˚-32’-16”E 

90,50996

 

Capacity

Bulk MT/month

General Cargo MT/month

Total handling capacity of the port

55.500

12.500

Monthly activity of the port

46.585

11.750

Current monthly use by WFP

 Nil

Nil

Potential monthly use by WFP

500

Nil

Monthly use if augmented

600 

500

Most of the bulk cargo discharged at this port consist of sand, stones, cement clinker and fly ash whereas food grains are discharged in bagged form. Almost 62% of bulk cargo discharged into this port constitutes fly ash. Narayanganj river port also has a fuel depot at Godnail.

Capacity of this fuel depot is 75.000 MT and Monthly activity is 68.000 MT.

Loading and discharge operations at the port are undertaken by outsourced labour which is available within the port premises. This labour is unorganized unlike at the major sea ports where there is a regulatory authority in the form of Dock Labour Management Board.

Vessel Specifications


Bulk

Conventional

Min (m)

Max (m)

Min (m)

Max (m)

Draught at anchor

 3.66

3.66

3.66

3.66

Draught at Berth

 3.66

3.66

3.66

3.66

Length Over All

 180

220

180

220

 

Port Cargo Equipment (Operational)

 

Quantity

Capacity

Shore Crane

One

2 MT

Vacuvators

Nil

Available Storage (covered)

02 Nos

1400 M³

Available Storage (open air)


 5067,28 M³


Khulna River Port

Location Details

River/Lake name

 Bhairab

Latitude (N/S Decimal Degrees)

To the north a line is drawn east and west across Bhairab river and Mazid Khali nulla at latitude 22˚-25’-45”N

To the south a line is drawn east and west across the Rupsha river at latitude 22˚-46’-40”N 22,86167

Longitude (E/W Decimal Degrees)

89,52446

Capacity

Bulk (MT per month)

General Cargo (MT per month)

Total handling capacity of the port

2500

1700

Monthly activity of the port

2350

1500

Current monthly use by WFP

 Nil

Nil

Potential monthly use by WFP

100

100

Monthly use if augmented

150 

150


Vessel Specifications


Nb

Bulk

Conventional

Min (m)

Max (m)

Min (m)

Max (m)

Berths

04 

 -

-

-

-

Anchorages

06 

-

-

-

-

Draught at anchor

metres

3.66

3.66

3.66

3.66

Draught at Berth

metres

3.66

3.66

3.66

3.66

Length Over All

metres

150

280

150

280


Port Cargo Storage

 

Quantity

Capacity

Available Storage (covered)

Nil

Available Storage (open air)


 278.70 m³

 

Chandpur River Port

Location Details 

River/Lake name

 Dakatia

Latitude

To the west – the part of the Meghna river to the westward of the outfall of Dakatia river which lies east of longitude 90˚-38’-10”E and bonded on the north by latitude 23˚-14’-00”N 23,21502

Longitude 

To the east a line is drawn to the north and south across the Dakatia river at longitude 90˚-40’-20”E 90, 65811 

 

Capacity

Capacity

Bulk (MT/month)

Container (MT/month)

General Cargo (MT/month)

Total handling capacity of the port

6.500

-

6.500

Monthly activity of the port

5.520

-

5.800

Monthly use if augmented

500

Nil

400


Vessel Specifications


Nb

Bulk

Conventional

Min (m)

Max (m)

Min (m)

Max (m)

Berths

03 

 -

-

-

-

Anchorages

05 

-

-

-

-

Draught at anchor

metres

 3,66

3,66

3,66

3,66

Draught at Berth

metres

 3,66

3,66

3,66

3,66

Length Over All

metres

 110

120

110

120


Port Cargo Handling Equipment & Storage

Port Cargo Equipment (Operational)

 

Quantity

Capacity

Mobile Cranes

Nil


Bagging Machines

Nil


Silo Facilities

Nil


Vacuvators

Nil


Available Storage (covered)

Nil


Available Storage (open air)


 92.90 m³


Barisal River Port

Location Details

River/Lake name

 Arialkhan

Port Name

 Barisal River Port

Region / District

 Barisal

Latitude (N/S Decimal Degrees)

To the north a line is drawn to the east and west across Arialkhan river at latitude 20˚-43’-00”N 

To the west a line is drawn to the east and west across the Arialkhan river at latitude 21˚-41’-00”N 22,70028

Longitude (E/W Decimal Degrees)

90,39815


Capacity

Capacity

Bulk (MT/month)

Container (MT/month)

General Cargo (MT/month)

Total handling capacity of the port

11.000

-

10.000

Monthly activity of the port

9.500

-

9.000

Potential monthly use by WFP

500

Nil

300

Monthly use if augmented

600

Nil

400


Vessel Specifications


Nb

Bulk

Conventional

Min (m)

Max (m)

Min (m)

Max (m)

Berths

05

 -

-

-

-

Anchorages

  08 

-

-

-

-

Draught at anchor

Metres

 3.66

 3.66

 3.66

 3.66

Draught at Berth

Metres

 3.66

 3.66

 3.66

 3.66

Length Over All

Metres

 190

200

190

200

Storage capacity

Warehouses in main ports are usually built by BIWTA and leased to a port operator or another private entity. A port operator or a private developer may be authorized to build its own warehouse as well as jetties and benefit from a reduced lease fee. Public jetties (101 in 8 main ports) are mostly used for passengers while private jetties (178 in 5 main ports) are used for cargo.

Agencies responsible for waterways

Total affairs of the Bangladesh waterways are dealt by the Ministry of Shipping. There are 3 authorities responsible for the management of this sector:

Department of Shipping (DOS)

Deals with Safety, Training, Inspection, Registration and implementation of rules, regulations and international conventions.

Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA)

Responsible for maintenance and development of waterways.

Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC)

Operates govt components of the IWT i.e. Shipping, Services, etc.

Department of Shipping

Shipping Officers List (DOS, BIWTA Bhaban (8th Floor), 141-143 Motijheel C/A, Dhaka 1000, Bangladesh):

Name

Designation

Contact No.

Email

Commodore Syed Ariful Islam, (TAS), ndc, psc, BN

Director General

Phone (Off): +880 2 9513305

Mobile: 01766685647

Fax:  9587301

dg@dos.gov.bd

Capt. K. M. Jashimuddin Sarker

Chief Nautical Surveyor

Phone (Off): +880 2 9553584

Mobile: 01711333981

cns@dos.gov.bd

Md. Manjurul Kabir

Chief Engineer & Ship Surveyor

Phone (Off): 9550867


Capt. Md. Giashuddin Ahmed

Controller of Maritime Education (Current Charge)

Phone (Off): +880 2 9554206

Mobile: 01716099003

cme@dos.gov.bd

Swe Min Zaw

Director

Phone (Off): +880 2 9551158

Mobile: 01558311039

Fax: 9587301

sweminzaw@gmail.com

Cdr. Md. Shaker, (Retd.) BN

Nautical Surveyor (Maritime Security)

Phone (Off): +880 2 9554206

shaker395@yahoo.com

Md. Badrul Hasan Litom

Deputy Secretary (Executive Magistrate)

Mobile: 01717032088


Mr. Shamim Uddin Ahmed

Deputy Director (R&D)

Phone (Off): +880 2 9552699

Mobile: 01912382787

Fax: 9587301

ddrd@dos.gov.bd

Begum Rezina Begum

Deputy Director (Shipping)

Phone (Off): +880 2 9569625

Fax:  01981910416

coord2@dos.gov.bd

Mr. Md. Shamsher Ali Khan

Statistical Officer

Phone (Off): +880 2 9567468

Mobile: 01916747582

so@dos.gov.bd

Mr. Shariful Islam

Chemist

Phone (Off): +880 2 9567468

Mobile: 01712574888

chem@dos.gov.bd

Mr. Md. Shafiqur Rahman

Chief Inspector

Phone (Off): +880 2 9558560

Mobile: 01711935196

ci@dos.gov.bd

Begum Parvin Sultana

Prosecuting Officer

Phone (Off): +880 2 9569625

Mobile: 01712885629

po@dos.gov.bd

Mr. Yasinul Azam

Accounts Officer

Phone (Off): +880 2 9553577

Mobile: 01831979394

ao@dos.gov.bd

Mithun Kumar Chaki

Co Ordinator

Phone (Off): 9513305

Mobile: 01817088366

Fax: 9587301

mithucha@yahoo.com


Responsibilities of DOS  

  • Administration of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1983 and the Inland Shipping Ordinance, 1976 and rules there under, including:
    • Registration and survey of ships and issue of certificate of registry and certificate of survey
    • Training of Marine officers and Engineers
    • Inspection of ships
    • Safety of lives and ships at sea and in inland waters and implementation of Rules, Regulations and International Conventions relating to these matters
    • Implementation of Rules and Regulations relating to dangerous cargo
    • Shipping accidents/casualties
  • Development and maintenance of light houses and navigation aids
  • Monitoring of I.W.T. vessels (including coaters) connected with carriage of export and import cargoes for synchronizing with arrival and departure of ocean-going ships and for efficient utilization of vessels
  • Transport co-ordination with different agencies for removing congestion at port of entry and ensuring speedy up-country movement of cargo
  • Matters relating to chartering of vessels in respect of bulk cargo by various agencies of the Government
  • Freight rates of shipping lines and freight study for the purposes, including Economic Statistics for shipping
  • Operational matters pertaining to implementation of shipping agreements
  • All technical and operational matters relating to shipping including those of Bangladesh Shipping Corporation which are referred by the Government
  • Regulation of routes and cargo in respect of private sector ships
  • Co-ordination with Shipper's Council and Shipping Lines, Shipping Agents and Shippers

Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority

BIWTA was created to set up an authority for development, maintenance and control of inland water transport and of certain inland navigable waterways. 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. The IWT sector carries over 50% of all arterial freight traffic and one quarter of all passenger traffic. For further details please look into: http://www.biwta.gov.bd/

BIWTA Head Office: 141-143 Motijheel C/A, Dhaka-1000, Bangladesh.

Telephone +88-02-9564634,

Fax +88-02- 9551072, E-mail- info@biwta.gov.bd


List of BIWTA Officers

Name

Designation

Contact No

Commodore Mohammad Mahbub-ul Islam

Chairman

01968390000

Mohammad Selim Sheikh

Coordination Officer

(Chairman's Office)

01933816502

01968390001

Mr. Md. Delwar Hossain

Member (Planning & Management)

01968390004

Mr. Md. Ghulam Mostafa

Member (Engineering)

01968390002

Mr. Md. Nurul Alam

Member (Finance)

01968390003

Mr. Kazi Wakil Nawaz

Secretary BIWTA

01715001164

01968390005

Mr. Md Abdul Awal

Director (Accounting Department)

01713453211

01968390008

Mr. Md. Abdul Matin

Chief Engineer (Dredging)

01551229977

01968390007

Mr. Gopal Chandra Saha

Director, (finance)

01712256768

01968390013

Mr. Mohammad Siddiqur Rahman

Director (Audits)

01713076564

01968390009

Mr. Md. Shahjahan

Director (Department of Naval Conservation and Management)

01716026704

01968390018

Mr. Hassan Mahmood Tareq

Chief Engineer (Marine)

(MME Department)

01819239727

01968390006

Mr. Md. Mohidul Islam

Chief Engineer

01711269706

01968390015

Mr. Javed Anwar

Director (in charge) (Planning Department)

01713034638

01968390012

Dr. Yadav Chandra Devanath

Head doctor (Medical Department)

01556346840

01968390017

Mr. Md. Shafiqul Haque

Director (Department of Ports and Transport)

01733583359

01968390011

Mr. Mofizur Rahman

Director (Purchase and Conservation Department)

01711733835

01968390010

Mr. Samson Nahar

Director (ongoing duty)

Hydrography Department

01968390014

Mr. Rakibul Islam Talukdar

Director ICT (additional responsibility)

+880-2-9550870

+880-2-47110850

Mr. Muhammad Abu Jafar Howlader

Director Naval Division

01712096780

01968390019


Responsibilities of BIWTA 

  • 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;
  • Provided 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 modernizing 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 utilization 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.
  • 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.
  • Prepare plans or schemes for carrying out any of the above mentioned functions.

Establishment / Service Centre

  • Inland River ports - 22 (Dhaka, Narayanganj, Barisal, Chandpur, Khulna, Baghabari, Potuakhali, Narsingdi, Aricha, Nagarbari, Daulatdia) and 11 newely gazatted (Tongi, Mawya, Char-Janajat, Ashuganj-Bhairab Bazar, Bhola, Bargona, Nawyapara, Munshigonj, Chatak, Meghna Ghat, Cox's Bazar).
  • Secondary riverine station (Developed) – 448.
  • Landing points (without infrastructure) – 374
  • Coastal Station - 23.
  • Ferry terminals Nos. - 08.
  • Field offices - 25.
  • Pilot Stations - 24 (Chattogram, 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
  • 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) 

BIWTA Emergency Hot Line Numbers

BIWTA Hot – Line: 01400 – 150150

Sadarghat Hot – Line: 01304004003, 01304004006

Sl. No

Office

Phone No.

1

Control Room (Dhaka)

02 – 9582306

2

Dhaka River port (Sadarghat)

029559898

3

Narayanganj River Port

01959999228, 027631003

4

Chandpur River Port

01718810014

5

Barisal River Port

01911051189, 043161449

6

Potuakhali River Port

01722046862, 0441-62340

7

Chattogram office

01819520347

8

Cox’s Bazar River Port

01819520347

9

Khulna River Port

01715728929, 041 - 721929

10

Aricha River Port

01717006104

11

Shimulia River Port

01688601679

12

Baghabari River Port

01711934694

13

Bhola River Port

01717800008

14

Borguna River Port

01678142254

15

Ashuganj River Port

01718105000, 01718304898


Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation

Bangladesh Inland Water Transport corporation (BIWTC) is an apex body under the Ministry of Shipping. BIWTC is a commercial water transportation institution of the government which is responsible for the overall development of the water transportation system in Bangladesh. The corporation is headed by a Chairman. It started the journey in 1972 merging a gov and 9 other private organization with a fleet of 611 ships and craft of different category. At present BIWTC is operating approximately 200 Commercial and Auxiliary vessels. For details pl look into: http://www.biwtc.gov.bd/

List of BIWTC Officers

Name & Designation

Contact No.

Email

Pranay Kanti Biswas

Chairman (Addl. Secretary)

Phone (Off): 02-9673671, 9635236

chairman@biwtc.gov.bd

Syed Md. Tajul Islam
Director (Admin), (Additional Secretary)

Phone (Off): 02-9670013, 9634793/212(PA)

Mobile: 01711959397

da@biwtc.gov.bd

Md. Rashedul Islam Director (Technical) (Joint Secretary)

Phone (Off): 02-9635124, 02-9673684/214

Mobile: 01718-543366

td@biwtc.gov.bd

Md. Rashedul Islam Director (Technical) (Joint Secretary)

Phone (Off): 02-9635124, 02-9673684/214.

Mobile: 01718-543366

td@biwtc.gov.bd

Shahinur Bhuiyan Director (Finance)

Phone (Off): 02-9634958, 9673107/213

fd@biwtc.gov.bd

N. S. M. Shahadat Ali Director (Commerce) 
Current Charge

Phone (Off): 02-9634920

Fax: 88-02-9634976

cd@biwtc.gov.bd 

Bipul Chandra Biswas, Secretary

Phone (Off): 02-9634876/216

Mobile: 01712139713

secretary@biwtc.gov.bd

Capt. Showkat Sardar, General Manager (Marine)

Phone (Off): 02-9635342/220

Mobile: 01711-602622

gmm@biwtc.gov.bd

Sheik Md. Nasim GM (Commerce), (Passenger & Admin.)

Phone (Off): 02-9634272/223

Mobile: 01715016751

gmcc@biwtc.gov.bd

S M Ashikuzzaman GM (Commerce), (Cargo & Ferry)

Phone (Off): 02-9634839/231

Mobile: 01711868069

gmcpf@biwtc.gov.bd

Abdur Rahim Talukder Chief Engineer

Phone (Off): 02-9635240/239

Mobile: 01711-175922

gme@biwtc.gov.bd

Md. Abul Kalam Azad Chief Audit Officer

Phone (Off): 02-9635410/263

Mobile: 01720422008

cao@biwtc.gov.bd

Jesmin Ara Begum Chief Planning Manager (Planning Dept.)

Phone (Off): 02-9634691/221

Mobile: 01734733857

cplm@biwtc.gov.bd


Functions of BIWTC

BIWTC is the operational branch - service oriented commercial organization. Since its creation, it has been playing a vital role in the inland and coastal water ways by carrying of passengers, cargo and vehicles. The functions of BIWTC are as follows:

  • To provide services for safe transportation of passenger and cargo in inland and coastal water ways.
  • To provide services for transportation of vehicles in the waterways.
  • To operate safe transport services for transportation of passenger and cargo between mainland and off-shore islands, where thousands of people are living.
  • To provide services in the uneconomic routes as Public Service Obligation (PSO).
  • To provide any other emergency services at time of national needs.
  • To maintain dockyard and repair yard for repair and renovation of vessels engaged in the above mentioned activities.

With the aim of transforming BIWTC into a commercially viable organization, in accordance with the strategic plan of the IDA proposed IWT-III project the BIWTC has been transformed into unit basis organization and it is performing its activities with the following units:

  • Ferry Service Unit.
  • Passenger Service Unit.
  • Cargo Service Unit.
  • Ship Repair Service Unit

BIWTC Services

Ferry Service Unit

BIWTC is providing day/night ferry services in the following routes to connect Northern and Southern regions with the Eastern region of the country by bridging the road gaps.

Name of Routes/Services

1

Paturia

Kazirhat

3 km

2

Paturia

Daulatdia

19 km

3

Mawa

Charjanajat

13 km

4

Bhola

Laxmipur

28 km

5

Laharhat

Vaduria

-

6

Chandpur

Shariatpur

10 km

7

Charkaipur

Kalipur Bazar

-

The above ferry services are being operated by different categories of self-propelled and dumb ferries including Ro-Ro ferries. The particulars of vessels engaged under this unit are as follows:

Type of vessel

No. Of Commercial vessel

No. Of Auxiliary vessel

Total vessel

Small Ferry

3

-

3

Medium Ferry

4

-

4

K-Type Ferry

8

-

8

Ro-Ro Ferry

12

-

12

Dumb Ferry

8

-

8

Sub-Total

35

9

44

Tug (auxiliary vessel)

12

-

12

Total

47

9

56


BIWTC Ferry Routes & Per Vehicle Rate

Vehicles Rate

Paturia- Dawladia

Paturia-  Kazirhat

Mowa-  Charjanajat

Chandpur-  Shariatpur

Bhola-Laxmipur

Lahar Hat-Veduria

Charkalipur- Kalipur Bazar

Up to 1 Ton Loaded Truck or Empty

700

860

800

920

1450

920

280

1 Ton to 3 Ton Tuck /Van/ Lorry-Loaded or Empty

740

920

980

980

1750

980

320

3 Ton to 5 Ton Tuck /Van/ Lorry-Loaded or Empty

880

1040

1080

1080

1800

1080

450

5 Ton to 8 Ton Tuck /Covered Van/ Lorry-Loaded or Empty

1060

1320

1400

1400

2300

1400

450

8 Ton to 11 Ton Tuck /Covered Van/ Lorry-Loaded or Empty

1460

1920

1850

1850

3000

1850

550

11 Ton to 30 Ton Tuck /Covered Van/ Lorry-Loaded or Empty

2980

3710

3940

3940

6500

2670

1125

29'-5" X 7'-5" to 34'-5" X 8'-5" Tank/Lorry or above size

1460

1920

1850

1850

3050

1850

550

Mini Bus/Coaster up to 22’-6”

650

970

950

950

2000

950

350

Medium Bus/Coach up to29’X 7’

1150

1350

1350

1350

2800

1350

450

29'-5" X 7'-5" to 34'-5" X 8'-5" Bus/Coach Empty

1460

1520

1580

1700

3000

1700

550

Microbus / Ambulance Tempo / Human Holler

800

970

860

1000

1600

1000

300

Pick-UP (1000kg) / Station Wagon / Prado / Nissan / Luxury Jeep (petrol)

730

860

800

920

1450

920

280

Car/Jeep/Tempo Trailer with/without Jeep or Truck

450

550

500

680

850

680

250

Baby Taxi / CNG/Van / Auto Rickshaw without Passenger

200

280

270

270

450

270

60

Motor Cycle without Passenger

70

100

70

70

150

70

30

By-cycle without Passenger

40

60

40

40

80

40

20

Rickshaw/Van
Goods Per Bag(40kg)
Per Buffalo/Cow
Per Goat/Sheep

--

-

-
-
-
-

-
-

-
-
-

-
-
-
-

60.00
41.00
60.00
20.00



Coastal Services Time Table

Shipping time

Time to reach the ship

Station

Time

Station

Time

Chattogram

09:00

Hatiya

15:30

Guptachara

09:00

Kumira

11:30

Kumira

14:00

Guptachara

15:45

Hatiya

11:00

Boyarchar

12:30

Boyarchar

13:00

Hatiya

14:30

Manpura

11:00

Shashiganj

12:30

Shashiganj

13:00

Manpura

15:30

Charchanga

09:00

Boyarchar

10:00

Boyarchar

13:00

Charchanga

15:00

Majchudhuri Hat

05:00

Barisal 

11:00

Mirzakalu

10:00

Alekjander

09-00

Eilisha

09:00

Majchudhuri Hat

12:00

Barisal

07:00

Majchudhuri Hat

11:45

Majchudhuri Hat

12:00

Barisal

17:15

 

Passenger Service Unit

BIWTC is responsible for operation of passenger services both in inland water routes and in the coastal areas & off-shore islands of the country. Those off-shore islands are inhabited by crores of people & are also growing populous day by day. Waterways are the only communication media for the people of the region for carrying out their day-to-day socio-economic activities. But till to day no proper passenger service could have been opened in the area by the private sector. As such the responsibility for operation of the passenger vessels in the region has been vested upon with BIWTC for a long time on behalf of the Government as a Public Service Obligation (PSO). Passenger Service Unit is mainly engaged in carrying passengers in the inland waterways, coastal areas and off-shore islands.


 Passenger transport capacity

No of passenger carried (In a year) : Approx 87.80 million

Type of vessel

No. Of Commercial vessel

No. Of Auxiliary vessel

Total vessel

Paddle Steamer

4

13

17

Other vessel

24

0

24

Total

28

13

41


Cargo Service Unit

Cargo Service Unit of BIWTC is mainly responsible for carrying of various kinds of commodities like food, food grains, Jute & jute goods cement, clinker, fuel and petroleum products from Chattogram and Mongla Port to different inland river ports of the country. In addition, cargo vessels also send to Kolkata (India) port under the Inter country transit and trade protocol agreement between the two countries. These commodities are transported by the Coasters, Tankers and barges of the Unit. The vessel position under Cargo Service Unit are:

Type of vessel

Total

Type of vessel

Total

Coaster

14

Bay Crossing & Inland Barge

21

Tanker

12

Bay Crossing & Inland Tug

09

Self-Propelled Barge

10

Other Auxilliary

18

Total Vessels: 84


Cargo transport capacity

Quantum of cargo carried (In year) 58 million MT.

Type of vessel

Commercial vessel

Auxiliary vessel

Total vessel

Coaster

14

-

14

Tanker

12

-

12

Self-Propelled Barge

10

-

10

Bay Crossing & Inland Barge

21

-

21

Bay Crossing & Inland Tug

09

-

09

Others

-

18

18

Total

66

18

84

 

Ship Repair Service Unit

Under Ship Repair Service Unit there are 4 dockyards and one Floating Dock located at Narayanganj for repair and maintenance of Corporation's own vessels. To make the dockyard a profit centre, steps have been taken to undertake repair works of private vessels also. For attending emergency repair works, facilities are also available  different locations at Aricha, Mawa, Khulna, Barisal, Chattogram and Chandpur with reasonable expertise.

It may be mentioned here that there is a fibreglass factory under this Unit which produces products such as speed boats, hull, helmet, chair and various type of house hold furniture. Total 14 auxiliary vessels are placed under this Unit for smooth functioning of its normal works.

 

Stations & Ghats of BIWTC

BIWTC has 44 Stations and ghats for operation of its services under Ferry Service Unit, Passenger Service Unit and Cargo Service Unit. The names of the stations and ghats are as follows:

Paturia

Kumira

Barisal

Harinaghat (Chandpur)

Kazirhat

Maitbhanga

Shariatpur

 DaulaBDThan

Daulatdia

Guptachara

Charchenga

 Char Bata

Mawa

Manpura

Majuchowdhury Hat

 Kowkhali

Char Janajat

Shashiganj

Kathalbari

 Jhalakati

Narayanganj Terminal-1, 2

Daulatpur

Teknaf

Sandwip

Narayanganj Terminal-3

Khulna Ghat

St. Martin

Hatiya

Dhaka Ghat

Delta Ghat, Khulna

Morrelgonj

Char Khali

Chandpur

Mongla

Bara Mashua

Hularhat

Chattogram Terminal-1

Chattogram Terminal-2



 

Comparison of Cargo Tariff among Waterways, Road and Rail

IWT tariffs for cargo are below BDT 1 per ton-km whereas for road they are around BDT 4.5. Rail tariffs range between BDT 2.5 and 4. Even after adding to IWT and rail tariffs the cost of handling at the port/railway station and terminal transport between the port/railway station and the origin/final destination, IWT still remains the cheaper mode of transport. For example between Dhaka and Chattogram, the tariff to transport a 20-foot container is around BDT 600 per ton by IWT, compared to BDT 1,200 for rail and BDT 6,000 for road

Main inland waterways

Name of Routes/Services: Inland : Dhaka-Khulna Rocket Service

Coastal :

  1. Chattogram-Barisal Steamer Service
  2. Chattogram-Hatiya Steamer Service
  3. DaulaBDThan - Char Alexander Sea-truck Service
  4. Kumira-Guptachara LCT Serivce
  5. Hatiya-Char Bata Sea-truck Service
  6. Char Changa-Char Bata Sea-truck Service
  7. Manpura-Shashiganj Sea-truck Service.
  8. Barisal-Mozuchowdhuryhat Sea-truck Service.
  9. Kaliya-Nazirpur Sea-truck Service.
  10. Alexander-Mirjakalu Sea-truck Service.
  11. Teknaf-Sent Martin Tourist Sea-truck Service.

International Container Terminal (ICT) and Container Shipping Services

Coastal shipping for containers is developed mainly for imports from Chattogram Port (NCT) to the river ports near Dhaka. The number of containers carried by coastal shipping is approx. 26,000 TEUs yearly, which is only 1 % in 2.67 million TEUs of the total throughput of Chattogram Port. Currently 2 river ports are in operation; Pangaon ICT with 116,000 TEU capacity per annum and Ashugonj Riverport/ICT with a capacity of 4,00,000 TEUs (on completion of full construction). There is a private River Port/ICT also operating i.e. Summit Alliance (SAPL) with 100,000 TEU capacity per annum. In addition, 2 river ports are under construction; Rupayan Port & Logistic Services Ltd. (300,000 TEU capacity) and AK Khan Container Terminal (250,000 TEU). 2 more river ports are planned to be constructed; Kumudini Container Terminal (150,000 TEU capacity), and Ananda Container Port (400,000 TEU capacity). Locations of the river ports are illustrated together with the railway ICDs in the map

Pangaon ICT/River Port

Pangaon is an International Container Terminal and inland river port on the bank of River Buriganga  in Dhaka, Bangladesh. It serves as a cargo port for Bangladesh's capital and largest city Dhaka. It was opened in 2013. It is the first river port of its kind in Bangladesh. The port is located at the Dhaka Metropolitan Area in Keraniganj Upazila, which is an industrial suburb.

Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) and the Chattogram Port Authority (CPA) jointly built this inland terminal at a cost of BDT 1.54 bn. The terminal is expected to play a positive role in the country’s economic development by opening a new horizon in the transportation of exported and imported goods through waterways. The project aims to help ease the pressure of cargo movement on the Dhaka-Chattogram railway and highway corridors.

Facilities of the Port/Yard:

Storage capacity

3,500 -20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in its 55,000-sq mtr container yard

Handling Capacity

116,000 TEU annually

CFS

5815 Sq m

Jetty

The port has a 180-meter-long and 26-meter-wide jetty which can handle two ships of 70 to 75 meters at berth simultaneously

Equipment

v  One mobile harbor crane

v  Two straddle carriers

v  Two tractor trailers

v  Three cargo-lifting cranes

v  Nine Forklifts

v  One Weigh Bridge


When the port was opened, the chief shipping route was between Dhaka and Chattogram port. In February 2017, the first Indian ship from Kolkata docked at the port. In July 2017, China and Bangladesh signed an agreement to allow vessels to travel to the port. Coastal shipping agreements allow foreign vessels to directly carry cargo to Bangladeshi ports, instead of using Singapore or Colombo for transhipment.

 Ashugonj ICT/ River Port

The Port of Ashuganj is a notable river port in eastern Bangladesh. It is one of the important industrial ports of the Bengal delta. It is located on the Meghna River. The port is a regional transhipment centre in Eastern South Asia. It is located 28 km from Brahmanbaria town and 43 km from the Akhaura land border between Bangladesh and India. The port is located in an industrial area in the vicinity of the Ashuganj Power Station, a 1777 megawatt thermal power plant which is one of the largest in Bangladesh. The port is also the terminal for a large fertilizer and chemical plant; as well as smaller power plants. It hosts several warehouses and shipyards. Its industrial units receive gas supplies from the nearby Titas Gas field.

Ashuganj port acts as a port of call for cargo shipments to the nearby Indian state of Tripura. Cargo unloaded in Ashuganj port is transported by road to the Akhaura-Agartala land border; and vice versa. The transhipment route allows access for several Indian states, including Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Lower Assam.

An International Container Terminal (ICT) is under-construction at Ashuganj Port with an estimated cost of BDT 12.93 billion. Out of the BDT 12.93 billion project cost, Bangladesh government will fund BDT 8.62 billion while the rest BDT 4.31 billion will come from the Indian 2nd Line of Credit (LoC). Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) under the Ministry of Shipping will implement the project December 2021. If the project is implemented the new horizon will start in the shipping container transport through the river. It will be beneficial to Bangladesh financially and commercially.

This port provides the facility of loading and unloading of goods of the river vessels. According to the initial survey, it will be possible to transport around 0.4 million twenty feet equivalent units (TEUs) of containers on this route every year.

Summit Alliance Port Ltd

To support the Off-dock facilities of the govt Private entrepreneurs have also been asked to come forward. Attending that call of the govt Summit Group has developed a river port/Container yard named Summit Alliance Port Ltd. SAPL has established an Inland Container Terminal (ICT), the first of its kind in the country’s private sector, on 15 acres of Company’s freehold land on the bank of river Dhaleshwari in Muktarpur under Munshiganj district. The Inland Container Depot comprising transportation and storage of empty containers and redelivery of the containers to various locations as per client’s advice.

The River Terminal, being similar in certain respects to the Off-Dock establishment, shall have the bonded warehouse facilities with required handling equipment for Container Freight Station to handle export and import cargos as well as for storage of empty containers. In addition, the company provides container vessels for transportation of cargo to and from Chattogram Port. At Chattogram the company has three separate bonded depots on approx. 44 acre freehold land in Patenga, located 6.50 km away from the multipurpose container vessel berths of Chattogram Port, with facilities to provide both ICD and CFS services as detailed below:

  • Total covered space of 511,000 sft including 7,020 sft for specialized Garments on Hanger (GOH), with 11 separate Warehouse spread over our three depots for storage of export cargo before stuffing and transportation of the same after completing Customs and other formalities.
  • Import Warehouse of 19,500sft to handle import cargo
  • Jute Warehouse measuring 8,430 sft
  • ICD facility for storage of approx. 6,000 empty containers (at any point of time) with developed yard area of over 1.50 million sft.
  • Plug-points for simultaneously handling 100 Refrigerated (Reefer) containers
  • Fleet of heavy and light equipment’s including, amongst others, Laden Reach Stackers, Cranes, High & Low Mast Forklifts of various capacities, Empty Reach Stackers, Side Stackers Cargo Lifts, Trailers, Prime Movers and other handling equipment’s like hand-trolleys etc.
  • Three Standby generators of 550 KVA, 320 KVA and 220 KVA capacities for supplying power to the entire yard and warehouses.

 The company has received the Global Security Verification (GSV) certification which is the leading international business network for supporting the development and implementation of measures for enhancing global supply chain security. With this GSV certificate the company was determined by an independent 3rd party expert as having the appropriate security measures in place, as published by the U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection. SAPL enjoys an esteemed clientele list including, among others, DAMCO, Kuehne+Nagel Ltd, APL Bangladesh Ltd, DSV Air & Sea Ltd, Maersk Bangladesh Ltd and several other prestigious Freight Forwarders and Mainline Operators.

International Waterways

As Bangladesh shares border mostly with India and it has good understanding with the govt of India, the two countries have common interests over waterways. In order to improve/increase the trade and tourism of both the countries, the govts have signed a Protocol on 6th June 2015 to facilitate the use of International waterways. The protocol initially outlined the following 8 Routes to be used by the operators of both the countries:

  • Kolkata- Haldia- Raimongal- -Chalna- Khulna- Mongla- KawkhaliBarisal- Hizla- Chandpur- Narayanganj- Aricha- Sirajganj- BahadurabadChilmari- Dhubri- Pandu- Shilghat.
  • Shilghat- Pandu- Dhubri- Chilmari- Bahadurabad- Sirajganj- ArichaNarayanganj- Chandpur- Hizla- Barisal- Kawkhali- Mongla- KhulnaChalna- Raimongal- Haldia- Kolkata.
  • Kolkata- Haldia- Raimongal- Mongla- Kawkhali- Barisal- HizlaChandpur- Narayanganj- Bhairab Bazar- Ashuganj- Ajmiriganj- MarkuliSherpur- Fenchuganj- Zakiganj- Karimganj.
  • Karimganj- Zakiganj- Fenchuganj- Sherpur- Markuli- AjmiriganjAshuganj- Bhairab Bazar- Narayanganj- Chandpur- Hizla- BansalKawkhali- Mongla- Raimongal- Haldia- Kolkata.
  • Rajshahi- Godagari- Dhulian.
  • Dhulian- Godagari- Rajshahi.
  • Karimganj- Zakiganj- Fenchuganj- Sherpur- Markuli- AjmiriganjAshuganj- Bhairab Bazar- Narayanganj- Chandpur- Aricha- SirajganjBahadurabad- Chilmari- Dhubri- Pandu- Shilghat.
  • Shilghat- Pandu- Dhubri- Chilmari- Bahadurabad- Sirajganj- ArichaChandpur- Narayanganj- Bhairab Bazar- Ashuganj- Ajmiriganj- MarkuliSherpur- Fenchuganj- Zakiganj- Karimganj

For now, cruise operators have shown interest to use Kolkata-Haldia-Raimongal-Chalna-Khulna-Mongla-Kawkhali-Barishal-Hizla-Chandpur-Narayanganj-Aricha-Sirajganj-Bahadurabad-Chilmari-Dhubri-Pandu-Shilghat (Assam) route, stretching 1,535km. In future such other routes will be declared by the Competent Authorities from time to time.

Water is essential to life and good Heath. It’s also vital to create jobs, propel economies forward, and boost social development. India and Bangladesh are reviving centuries-old inland waterways that once moved goods and people throughout both countries as well as into Bhutan and Nepal. The improvements will promote trade, attract investment, and stimulate development. More than 600 million people in Bangladesh and India live along the Ganges, Brahmaputra, and Meghna rivers. Millions more live near navigable tributaries. Moving goods via water is cheaper and more environmentally friendly than trucks on congested highways .

It may be mentioned here that for using waterways with other countries the waters of Bay of Bengal will be required to use.

General overview

Indian transit traffic and Indo-Bangladesh bilateral traffic regularly travel along two designated Inland Water Transport (IWT) Protocol routes across Bangladesh. These routes are highly underutilized, partly due to rapid siltation, lack of sufficient navigational aids, and partly due to Ltd number of ports of call (4 ports on either side). There are no inter-country passengers’ movements by IWT.

Initiative to move containers between Bangladesh and India, by IWT (inland water transport) is already underway, as it could also benefit Bangladesh considerably. An IWT container terminal is already in operation at Pangaon near Dhaka, with a design capacity of handling 116,000, 20 feet containers. This river port has encouraged containers movements between Kolkata-Dhaka, and Chattogram-Dhaka without difficulty.

Meanwhile Bangladesh ha s declared River port cum Container terminal at “Ashuganj” as the 5th port of call, while India agreed to designate “Shilghat” (near Guwahati and 100 km upstream of Pandu) as their 5th port of call for use by Bangladesh.


For additional details, please see the following document: 

Bangladesh Ferry Map

Bangladesh Waterways additional information

Note: The information provided in the attached documents, which has been taken from the old DLCA, does not match the structure of the new LCA and is therefore provided separately.

For contact information, please see the following link: 

4.4 Bangladesh Port and Waterways Company Contact List