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POST TIME: 25 April, 2019 00:00 00 AM
Ctg port working to reduce cost and time of doing business
132nd anniversary of the port today
STAFF REPORTER, Ctg

Ctg port working to reduce cost and time of doing business

The Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) is working to meet the target set by the government to reduce the cost and time of doing business in Bangladesh, said CPA chairman Commodore Julfiqur Aziz yesterday.

He told this to reporters on the occasion of the 132nd anniversary of the Chittagong Port. CPA members Zafar Alam, Comodore Khandaker Aktar Hossain, traffic director Enamul Karim, secretary Omar Faruk and deputy secretary Azizul Moula were present.

Aziz also said that to speed up the activities of the port, they were working on a flyover at Bandar Road to avoid traffic congestion and smooth operation, a bay terminal for berthing large vessels in 24 hours and a truck terminal. Completion of these projects would hasten the work at the port and boost the economy of the country, he added.  

The CPA chairman further said the container-handling cost was over USD 289, excluding VAT and delivery charges, in the country. However, they are trying to bring it down to USD 198 as in neighbouring India. At present, 168 hours or seven days are needed for handling a container, but they are now trying to bring in 36 hours. Once the cost and time of doing business are brought down, the country's economy will experience their positive effects.

Aziz said the detailed project proposal (DPP) of the bay terminal would be sent to the ministry concerned within one week for approval. In the meantime, they got 870 acres of land, including 67 acres of private land and 803 acres of khas land, for the terminal.

The construction work of the bay terminal will be completed by 2025. The terminal will be a milestone in the history of the Chattogram Port as large vessels will be able to berth there. Currently, only vessels with a draft of 9.5 metres and length of 190 metres can berth in the port jetty, depending on the high tide, while vessels with over 9.5-meter draft have to wait at outer anchorage and need to unload goods by lighter vessels. In the bay terminal, vessels will be able to berth for 24 hours.

Aziz said they would make the Patenga container terminal (PCT) operational by 2020. The PCT would be able to handle 400,000 TUES (20-feet equivalent units) every year. He also said they were getting the benefit of buying equipment worth over Tk. 1,000 crore in 2018. Now, more vessels can berth in the port and loading and unloading activities would speed up by 30 per cent compared to the last year thanks to the new equipment.

The CPA chairman also said the port territory had recently been expanded from 7.5 nautical miles to 54 nautical miles, stretching from Sitakunda to Mayeshkhali Island.

The Chattogram Port set a new record of container handling in 2018. It handled 2,903,996 TUES of import, export and empty containers last year, while it was 2,566,597 TUES in 2017. To tackle the ever-increasing task of container handling, the CPA has taken many development projects. But owing to many complications, most of the projects cannot completed within the stipulated time.

The CPA chairman said that the projects would take some time because they involved many people and parties. However, he expressed hope that they would be able to overcome all the odds to complete the projects centreing the port.