A lighterage vessel carrying 1,600 tonnes
of wheat has sunken in the estuary of Meghna in Lakshmipur amid fears of a
shortage triggered by a ban on export by India.
MV Tamim, owned by Hazrat Shah Amanat
Enterprise and operated by Samata Shipping and Logistics, capsized in the
Tillar Char area of RamgatiUpazila on Wednesday afternoon.
All 12 crew members
were rescued, said Samata’s Executive Director Jamal Hossain.
It was on its way from to Nabil Auto
Flour Mill in Narayanganj after receiving the cargo from a ship at the outer
anchorage of Chattogram port on Tuesday 17 May.
The wheat from
India was worth around Tk 66.4 million.
The vessel sank after it was hit by
something under the water and water started entering the ship through the
damaged parts, said Jamal.
Mohammad Selim, a deputy director of
Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority, said the ship did not sink
completely. It was beached in a canal in the Tillar Char area after the
accident, he said.
Importers, especially those in Asia, were
banking on wheat from India, the world’s second-biggest producer, after exports
from the Black Sea region plunged following Russia’s Feb 24 invasion of
But the ban on wheat exports by India to
control domestic prices has sparked fears of a shortage and price hike in
countries that depend on Indian wheat.
Commerce Minister TipuMunshi, however,
brushed aside “rumours” that India’s ban on wheat exports will impact
The current stock
of wheat is also enough to meet demand in the local market, the minister