A prom­ise of bet­ter con­nec­tiv­ity

With in­creased ca­pac­ity and bet­ter con­nec­tiv­ity, ship­pers can rely on Mongla Port to es­cape the con­ges­tions that have al­ways de­layed their ship­ments

Maritime Gateway - - Mongla Seaport -

The sec­ond largest con­tainer port in Bangladesh is ex­pand­ing ca­pac­ity by 42 per cent to 100,000 fu­ture to meet the rise in traf­fic. Of this, 30,000 teus ca­pac­ity will be ready with the com­mis­sion­ing of two berths slated for com­ple­tion in 2020. This ca­pac­ity ad­di­tion will par­tic­u­larly be needed as traders look for al­ter­na­tives to Chittagong Port. As the bridge over River Padma com­pletes it will boost hin­ter­land con­nec­tiv­ity, par­tic­u­larly to Dhaka which is closer to Mongla than Chittagong Port. The bridge will open up im­port/ex­port op­por­tu­ni­ties for a va­ri­ety of goods in­clud­ing ap­parel and jute. De­vel­op­ment of Khan Ja­han Ali Air­port in close vicin­ity will also at­tract more cargo to the port.

The port ex­pects traf­fic to grow to 3,39,000 teu by 2019-20, which will fur­ther in­crease to 7,62,000 teu in 2050. A ther­mal power plant be­ing set up in Ram­pal and set to com­mis­sion by March 2021 will fur­ther add to the cargo be­ing im­ported through the port.

To fur­ther make Mongla Port more at­trac­tive to ship­pers the port author­ity has re­duced its charges be­low those at Chittagong Port. The chan­nel to the port is be­ing dredged to fur­ther in­crease the draft from 7.5 me­ters to 10 me­ters so that larger ships can be brought in. A lo­gis­tics chal­lenge at the port was lack of rail con­nec­tiv­ity which is be­ing re­solved by con­nect­ing the port to Bangladesh rail net­work and tracks will be laid from Khulna to Mongla.

The gov­ern­ment has ini­ti­ated mega projects worth Tk 10,000 crore at the port which in­clude con­struc­tion of con­tainer ter­mi­nal jetty 1 and 2, con­struc­tion of con­tainer han­dling yard, con­tainer de­liv­ery yard, shade, se­cu­rity wall au­to­ma­tion and other in­fras­truc­tures, in­clud­ing ex­ten­sion of the port, ser­vice ves­sel jetty shade and of­fice. An eco­nomic zone is be­ing con­structed on 205 acres near the port, rail­way lines from Mongla to Kolkata via Nepal and Bhutan are be­ing laid and nec­es­sary link-roads for en­hanc­ing re­gional con­nec­tiv­ity will be de­vel­oped. Mod­ern fa­cil­i­ties will be de­vel­oped at the port us­ing Tk 6,500 crore, of which, Tk 6256 crore will be pro­vided by In­dia un­der its third line of credit.

Re­cently Bangladesh and In­dia have inked an agree­ment for us­ing Mongla and Chittagong Ports for con­nect­ing to North East­ern states. The agree­ment will be ef­fec­tive for five years with a pro­vi­sion of auto re­newal for an­other five years. Four routes are sug­gested for the goods move­ments which in­clude – Chittagong

Port/ Mongla Port-agartala via Akhaura; Chittagong/mongladaouki via Tam­a­bil; Chittagong/ Mongla-su­tarkandi via She­ola; and Chittagong/mongla-bibek­bazar via Si­man­ta­pur.

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