The Chattogram port is all set to start transporting Indian cargoes, said Chattogram Port Authority (CPA) Chairman Rear Admiral Zulfiqur Aziz yesterday.
Two trial runs are scheduled to be held this month for transportation of goods from India’s north-eastern states to other parts using the port, Aziz said.
He spoke in a meeting with journalists to brief about the overall performance of the port.
On October 25 in 2018, India and Bangladesh signed three agreements for allowing New Delhi to use the Mongla and Chattogram ports as transit points to access India’s north-eastern states for trade.
A standard operating procedure was also signed in this regard on October 5 last year after a meeting between Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi in New Delhi.
Around 52 percent work of the under construction Patenga Container Terminal is complete and operation in this terminal would start by this year, said the CPA chairman.
Once the terminal is launched, a total of four lakh twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of containers can be handled in the terminal annually while three container vessels and an oil tanker can be berthed at a time there, he said.
Around 67 acres of privately-owned land has already been acquired for the Bay Terminal project while process is underway to acquire 803 acres more of government owned fallow land, Aziz said.
The CPA has a plan to construct three container terminals having a total length of around three and a half kilometres within 2025. The eviction of illegal structures along the Karnaphuli river is an ongoing process, the CPA chairman said.
Illegal structures have been cleared from around 30 percent of the land in the first phase last year and 25 percent more area would be recovered in the second phase, he said.
He informed that the Chattogram port, Pangaon Inland Container Terminal, Kamalapur Inland Container Depot in Dhaka and the private off docks all together handled a total of 3.08 million TEUs of containers in 2019 with an annual growth of 6.34 percent.