A compensation of Tk 10 million has been demanded by the Department of Forest over the case of a coal carrying vessel capsizing in the Poshur River.
The case has been filed aagaist the owner and the master who was operating the vessel.
According to OC Sheikh Luftfar Rahman, master of the vessel Bulu Kazi had been arrested after the Public Works Department filed a case with the Mongla Police Station.
Sundarbans East Division DFO Md Saidul Islam said Chandpai station forest employee Mizanur Rahman had filed the complaint.
On Tuesday a Khulna-bound coal laden cargo ship named ‘MV GR Raj’ from Mongla Port capsized with 510 tonnes of coal at Beauty Market area in the Pasur river near the Sundarbans as the keel of the ship was fractured around 9pm.
Md Saidul Isalm, Divisional Forest Officer of Sundarbans East Zone said the sunken coal laden cargo may harm the ecosystem of the Sundarbans, world’s largest mangrove forest.
Bangladesh Enviroment Lawyers’ Association’s Khulna unit Co-ordinator Mahfuzul Rahman Mukul said: “The incident cannot be treated lightly. It will surely affect Sundarbans’ biodiversity.”
“Coal movement will increase manifold on this river route if the Rampal thermal power plant is built. There will be a greater risk of such accidents. We will deeply examine the matter,” he added.
Mongla Port Authority Chairman Rear Admiral Riaz Uddin Ahmed, Bagerhat District Collector Md Jahangir Alam, East Sundarbans Divisional Forest Officer Sayedul Islam, and Mongla Upazilla Nirbahi Officer Md Ali Prince and other senior official inspected the accident site on Wednesday.
Port Harbour Master Commander Hassan said, “The cargo vessel, laden with coal, sank outside the navigation channel. Hence, there is no hindrance to the movement of ships to and from the port. Order has been given to remove the ship soon.”
The salvage operation of the cargo did not start around 1am on Wednesday.
Vessel owner Dil Khan said that a private agency will begin salvage work on Thursday.
Later, locals rescued the 10 crews of the vessel from the river in a trawler.
A three member probe committee, headed by assistant forest conservator (Chandpai Range) of the Forest Department Md Belayet Hossain, has been formed in this connection.
The committee has been asked to submit the report within Wednesday.