Chalna, Biman, Brahmaputra, passenger traffic, inland waterways
The numerous rivers of Bangladesh and the marked seasonal fluctuation in their width and depth, as well as their frequent changes of course, greatly inhibit the development of an integrated road and rail transport system. Bridging the major channels is often not feasible economically, and reliance on ferry connections makes most long-distance overland travel exceedingly slow. However, the Brahmaputra was bridged in 1998, allowing more rapid road and rail transport from Dhaka to the western part of the country. Bangladesh has 207,486 km (128,926 mi) of roads, of which 10 percent are paved; the road network may be severely damaged by monsoon flooding. In 1998 there was only 1 vehicle in use for every 1,000 residents. The country is served by 2,734 km (1,699 mi) of operated railroad track.
Much of the country’s domestic freight and passenger traffic is carried on inland waterways. Commercially operated navigable routes in the rainy season total at least 8,000 km (5,000 mi), but shrink to some 4,000 km (2,500 mi) in the dry season. Small boats can navigate an additional 18,000 km (11,000 mi) in wet months. International freight traffic is handled at the ports of Chittagong and Chalna; the former leads in imports and overall value and the latter leads in exports.
Government-owned Bangladesh Airlines (Biman) provides international and domestic air service. The main international airport is at Dhaka. The airport at Chittagong also handles international flights.
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