Chittagong, 29 November 2012: Western Marine has inaugurated the construction work of two passenger vessels having the carrying capacity of 750 passengers (each ship) through a keel laying ceremony on the 29th of November 2012 in the shipyard premises located in Patiya. This is the first time passengers ships of this capacity will be built by a local shipbuilder. These ships will be operated by BIWTC in the inland route of Dhaka to Barisal.
The Shipping Minister, Mr. Shajahan Khan (MP) was the Chief Guest in the ceremony. As Special Guests Mr. Syed Monjurul Islam, Secretary In-Charge for Shipping Ministry; and Mr. Mojibor Rahman, Chairman of BIWTC were present in the occasion.
These ships will be serving the passengers in one of busiest river route in Bangladesh, Dhaka to Barisal. New building of these ships is an initiative by the government to enhance the inland waterway transportation system of Bangladesh. It is believed addition of these two ships will reduce this crisis of traffic congestion & people will be more interested in travelling by river routes.
Western Marine Managing Director, Sakhawat Hossain said this project is a challenge for Western Marine as the ships are to be delivered by September 2013. He also said, “in the past we had delivered many ships for government use on time, we will also be able to do the same this time if government can protect the brain drainage from our shipyard by preventing manning agencies from migration of our shipbuilding experts unlawfully.” He has also mentioned that cash flow is also very necessary although a crisis in the financial market has been observed recently.
The Chairman highlighted saying “earlier ships for our local use were imported from abroad spending our hard earned foreign currency. But now these ships are being built locally and Western Marine being a certified internationally standard shipyard, comply all the latest IMO rules of safety.” Therefore the ships being made by Western Marine will be less likely to cause pollution & disaster.
The Shipping Minister admired Western Marine for taking the challenge of completing the project by September 2013 which is a very short time. He even said the shipyard has proven their proficiency in the past by delivering ships on time. He mentioned on behalf of the government of Bangladesh the Shipping Ministry will provide all kind of support to the industry for successful completion of the project timely.