MV Tamim, which is owned by Hazrat Shah Amanat Enterprise and is operated by Samata Shipping and Logistics, capsized in the Tillar Char area of the Ramgati Upazila on Wednesday afternoon. The whole crew comprising 12 crew members had been rescued, said the Executive Director of Samata, Jamal Hossain.
It was on the way to Nabil Auto Flour Mill in Narayanganj on getting the cargo, on Tuesday, from a ship at the outer anchorage of the Chattogram port. The wheat coming from India was worth about Tk 66.4 million.
The vessel had been hit by something that was under the water. Soon after, water started seeping into the vessel via damaged parts. Jamal Hossain said that the front hatch of the vessel had developed a crack after it was hit by a shoal. That’s when water started entering it. Later on, water entered the middle of the vessel and sank with the cargo.
Mohammad Selim, Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority deputy director, has reportedly mentioned that the ship did not sink entirely. It was beached in a canal in the Tillar Char area following the accident, he said.
Importers, particularly those based in Asia were dependent on wheat supplies from India, the second-biggest producer in the world, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the consequent plunging of exports from the Black Sea region.
But India’s ban on its wheat exports to control domestic prices has given rise to fear regarding a shortage and increased prices in countries that are dependent on India’s wheat.
Tipu Munshi, the Commerce Minister, however, brushed aside “rumours” that India’s bans on wheat exports are going to impact Bangladesh. The current stock of wheat is enough to meet the rising demand in the local markets, the minister said.