BCG to get ultramodern vessels to protect country’s

Five locally-made state-of-the-art vessels are going to be added to the Bangladesh Coast Guard (BCG) fleet tomorrow, further strengthening the maritime law enforcement force.

Of the five vessels, two inshore patrol vessels ‘BCGS Joy Bangla’ and ‘BCGS Apurba Bangla’ were built by state-owned Dockyard and Engineering Works Limited in Narayanganj, said Captain Lieutenant Commander Md Zia Uddin at a briefing at BCG Patenga Berth here this afternoon.

He said two tugboats ‘BCGT Pratyay’ and ‘BCGT Pramatta’ and the floating crane ‘BCGFC Shakti’ were made by the Khulna Shipyard.

“Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will commission the five vessels through videoconferencing from her official Ganabhaban residence in Dhaka at 10am tomorrow,” he said.

Zia Uddin said the new vessels are equipped with ultramodern machineries, sensors and surveillance radar. “The inshore patrol vessels have three automatic cannons, which will play a vital role in protecting ourselves and running operational activities”, he added.

Noting that the vessels have surveillance capacity of 96 nautical miles and the cannons’ range is 4 kilometers, he said the ships are able to identify anything like other vessels, criminals or enemies within this range while the cannons will help the BCG conduct operational activities smoothly.

With commissioning of these five vessels, the official said, the operational activities of the BCG will accelerate along with increase in the capacity to prevent stealing at commercial ships at the outer anchor, control human and drug trafficking through sea, patrol along the blue economy borders and conduct rescue operations in case of natural calamity and maritime accidents.

While visiting the new five vessels’ commissioning venue, the ships were seen anchored at the BCG Patenga Berth, decorated with flags of different colors. The new vessels will start operational activities from tomorrow following the commissioning by the Prime Minister, said Zia.

With the farsighted vision of the greatest Bangalee of all time and Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the BCG official said, the ‘Territorial Waters and Maritime Zones Act, 1974’ was enacted inserting a demand for Bangladesh’s own maritime area.

According to BCG officials, Bangabandhu’s daughter Sheikh Hasina placed the ‘Bangladesh Coast Guard Bill’ in parliament in 1994 when she was the opposition leader in the House. Following her proposal, the BCG was established on February 14 in 1995.

Later, new platforms and infrastructural development were added to the BCG at the directives of the current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, which accelerated the operational activities of the force and yielded enormous success.

Along with active presence in coastal water areas and ensuring proper use of marine resources as a vigilant watchdog, the BCG has been playing a vital role since its inception in conserving marine resources, preventing smuggling in coastal areas, controlling drug smuggling, conserving forest resources, preventing environmental pollution in the areas adjacent to the sea and rivers and stopping catching of Jatka and Mother Hilsa and preventing human trafficking.

Due to the relentless efforts of the BCG, the officials said, the Chattogram Port has turned into a safe port from a risky one.

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