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10 October, 2019 00:00 00 AM

Crying need of the deep seaport

A coal-based power plant is also being constructed to power the Payra Port. The port is being developed in three stages
Crying need of the deep seaport

Bangladesh is a coastal state and its situation is with the Bay of Bengal- adjacent to the Indian ocean connecting with the whole world in the waterway. It is also a riverine country located in South Asia with a coastline of 580 km (360 mi) on the northern littoral of the Bay of Bengal. The delta plain of the Ganges (Padma), Brahmaputra (Jamuna), and Meghna Rivers and their tributaries occupy 79 percent of the country.

By the course of time, the roads and highways and aircrafts becoming dearer to the people to go outside of the country in short time and easily.

But the diversified demands for water resources and for resources in water and movement through the waterway does not lessen.

The waterway business, export-import via ships/vessels still dominates in the coastal states and it is becoming popular and demand of the people for the seaborne business.

Increasing population, increasing business and trade among the nations, the importance of offshore economic activities speedily increasing. The nations of the world are locating, identifying, designing, planning, exploring and finding ways and means to exploit maritime business and resources for increasing their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and economic development. They are giving more importance and attention for fuelling waterborne businesses and generating income from sea resources. From the very beginning of the human civilization, there is an intimate link between humans and the oceans.

In ancient times, the foreign trade was mainly dependent through the sea by ships/vessels. Bangladesh used mainly two major ports, Chittagong Port and Mongla Port of Khulna before. But recently, Bangladesh is using also several small seaports (Sonadia Port, Payra Port,) and large river ports (Sadarghat, Pangaon, Barishal, Narayangonj, Chandpur, Asugonj, Arichaghat, etc.) for seaborne business and transport facilities.

Bangladesh is thinking now to make some deep seaports for the sake of making facilities of seaborne business, to handle container vessels, cargos easily and quickly.

It is the need of the time. Deep water ports are also defined to be any port which has the capability to accommodate a fully laden Panamax ship, which is determined principally by the dimensions of the Panama Canal's lock chambers.

Payra Port, Bangladesh, is partially constructed and began basic operations in August 2016. According to BMI research, the full port construction project will have 19 separate components, 13 of which will be implemented under foreign direct investment, and six of which will be financed through government-to-government deals. The total cost of the port is estimated to be 11-15 billion USD. In September 2017, the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) won a contract to prepare the master plan and design of the port. The China Harbour Engineering Company and China State Engineering and Construction Company (CSCEC) were awarded contracts worth USD $600 million to develop two of the 19 components. CHEC will construct the main port infrastructure (terminals, etc.), and CSECC will be responsible for riparian aspects, the construction of housing, healthcare and education facilities around the port.

A coal-based power plant is also being constructed to power the port and port city. The port is being developed in three stages. Under the Long-Term Plan, by 2023 the port would have a 16 meter channel, all terminals would be constructed, and associated facilities - an EEZ, airport, port city, dockyard/shipyard, and eco-tourism facilities - would be in place.

This project is part of the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor, which was initially put forth under China's Belt and Road Initiative. India, which has not signed on to the BRI, has supported and financed the development of Payra Port.

Sonadia deep seaport is going to construct near the Bay of Bengal which will be the milestone in the development history of Bangladesh.

If the port is constructed, the port has the potentials to serve the hinterland region lying behind. Government will build deep seaport on 1,225 acres of land at Matarbari involving Tk. 18,580 crore will be modeled on the Japanese ports of Kashima and Niigata. Japan-based development partner JICA will provide a loan of TK 13,253 crore for the development of the port. The remaining 2,740 crore will be funded from the government and the rest amount will be collected from other agencies. Bangladesh has a good geographical position which could offer real opportunities to play a major role in regional seaborne trade and act as a gateway for this region to the rest of the world by providing shortest land connectivity route to the deepest water, saving thousands of kilometres transport costs and time.

The economic history of maritime powers, such as Britain, Spain, Portugal, China, Japan, Singapore and Rotterdam, etc., clearly demonstrates the significant and critical role which the deep seaports have played in the development of their economies. Bangladesh needs deep seaports.

The country is the fastest growing economies comparatively with other countries in the world. As economy growing, the import-export of the country is rising. Bangladesh’s export is booming and it is expected that it may be reach to $50 billion per year in value by 2021.

For handling all obstacles of seaborne business like export-import, container vessels, sea cargos, Bangladesh has taken rightly steps to make deep seaports and it is the crying need of the hour.

This initiative will help to do modern facilities for the ports, create more employment opportunities in the countries and abroad and will be able to generate income through taxes, duties and royalties.

The writer specializes in development and economic issues.

He can be reached at: [email protected]



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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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