Abu Taher Bappa

2020-02-19 17:49:26 BdST

Tk6000cr project to enhance Mongla port capacity


The government would modernise the Mongla Sea Port with an Indian loan tagged on conditions of appointing contractors and buying goods from the loan providing country, officials said.

The capacity enhancement of the country’s second-biggest seaport in Mongla was among nine projects approved by the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council at a meeting chaired by prime minister Sheikh Hasina at the NEC Conference Room in the city’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area.

The project cost has been estimated at Tk 6,014.62 crore.

Of the cost, the government would take Tk 4,459.41 crore as loan from the Indian Line of Credits and the rest of Tk 1,555.21 crore would be provided through own resource, said planning minister MA Mannan while briefing the reporters about the meeting’s outcomes.

He said the Mongla Port Authority under the Ministry of Shipping would implement the port capacity enhancing project by 2024 in a bid to ensure modern facilities for the port users.

The project works include the construction of container terminals with all facilities at two jetties as well as container handling yard and container delivery yard.

Besides, service vessel jetty, offices, extension of port building, construction of towers, residential complex with community facilities, mechanical workshop, equipment yard, and marine workshop complex would be constructed under the project.

The economic relations division officials said that projects taken under the LoCs made it mandatory to buy certain amount of goods from India and appointment of contractors too.

Terming the condition unfriendly, they said the utilisation rate of the LoCs provided by Indian Exim Bank was not favourable to Bangladesh.

Only $590 million of the $7,300 million, earmarked by India under four lines of credit to Bangladesh, was disbursed in the last 10 years.

Mannan told reporters that capacity building would help the port to meet the growing local demand of container handling.

Besides, it would serve the need of India, Nepal and Bhutan, he said.

Since December 2019, Bangladesh has allowed India to tranship cargos through Chattogram and Mongla seaports from its landlocked northern states and vice-versa regarding any transit charges and custom duties but with administrative fees.

The planning commission officials said once the project was implemented, it would be possible to handle additional 15 million tonnnes of cargo and 4,00,000 Twenty Equivalent Units of containers.

They said other projects approved by the ECNEC included the Rajshahi metropolis city integrated infrastructures development at Tk 2,931.62 crore, modernisation of ports with necessary facilities built at Paturia and Daulatdia at Tk 1,351.70 crore, protecting the establishments from the river Padma under Charghat and Bagha upazilas in Rajshahi at Tk 722.24 crore, integrated livestock development at the now defunct enclaves and char areas with Tk 128.96 crore and integrated livestock development at Haor areas with Tk 118.13 crore.

Besides, the committee approved three projects, upgrading freedom fighter late Kamal Uddin road in Noakhali district at Tk 282.11 crore, upgrading a road in Anwara at Tk 407.08 crore, and Shariatpur-Janzira-Naodoba highway at Tk 1,682.55 crore.

At the meeting, the PM expressed interest in foreign companies for producing power from waste, said Mannan.

Besides, she wanted planting more trees along the highways, he said.

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