Kuakata becoming 3rd sea port of Bangladesh

Bangladesh is going to have its 3rd sea port in Kuakata. Kuakata is well known for its natural beauty. Any people can see sun rise and sun set from a same place. The government has started the groundwork for the country’s third seaport at Kuakata aiming to improve the economic condition of the people in the region as well as to facilitate India, Nepal and Bhutan to transit goods.

A high-powered technical committee, headed by Captain S Arif Mahmood, member (marine and harbour), Chittagong port authority, visited Kuakata last month and primarily recommended the site for a port.

The committee submitted its report to the shipping ministry last week.

“The site is feasible as we observed from the surface,” Mahmood said on Tuesday, “We suggested that the government carry out a techno-economic feasibility study before going ahead with the construction.”

Shipping Minister Sahjahan Khan on Wednesday said everything will be finalised based on the technical report, adding, “It’ll be a small port initially.”

A seaport in Kuakata will make movement of goods more convenient than through the ports at Chittagong and Mongla, since it is positioned at the centre of the coast, the minister earlier said.

Chittagong port is the country’s prime seaport that handles about 90 per cent maritime export-import trade with an average 10 per cent yearly growth. The Mongla port, the second largest seaport, handles the rest 10 per cent of the trade.

If all goes well, the construction of the port will begin by 2012 with an estimated cost of Tk 2500 crore that includes the construction cost of some 34 km link road, a shipping ministry official said.

The source of funding, however, is still unknown but the government is likely to approach foreign donors, said the official, who sought anonymity on the ground that it is too early to comment.

Under the transit agreements with India and Nepal, Bangladesh expects some five lakh containers a year from these two countries and possibly from Bhutan. Once in operation, the port will handle nearly half of these containers, he said.

The government move came following a meeting of the parliamentary standing committee on shipping ministry that suggested building a third seaport in Patuakhali region earlier this year.

State Minister for water resources Mahbubur Rahman, also a member of the committee, wrote a letter to the shipping ministry suggesting to undertake initiatives in this regard following the meeting.

The shipping minister then visited the proposed site on May 21 this year and said at a rally that the government is planning to build a seaport there.

It would be wise for the government to establish a third seaport in the Patuakhali region, Rahman, a lawmaker for Patuakhali-4 constituency, said in his letter to the shipping ministry.

It will help develop the economic condition of the people in this underdeveloped coastal area, the letter stated.

According to the government district portal, the total population in Patuakhali district is 15,37,137 mostly depending on agriculture, fishing and rearing livestock.

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