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Exhibition on Marine, Port, Shipping concludes
Cancellation of the World Bank loan for the Padma Bridge has made the whole nation united in the spirit of the liberation war of 1971, shipping minister Shajahan Khan told anaudience here today.
"The World Bank is not our enemy. But its attitude over the Padma Multi-purpose Bridge construction has put the entire nation together," the minister said.
He said that many local organizations, apart from foreign countries like Malaysia and China, have come forward with the helping hand to make the Padma Bridge dream a reality.
Chittagong Port Authority is interested to invest Tk 15 billion in the project while the insurance companies have offered to invest several billion taka, he said.
The minister said that the much-awaited bridge would now be constructed with the fund of the people of Bangladesh. "As people of this country liberated their homeland through a bloody struggle in 1971 they can construct the Padma Bridge in the same spirit," he said.
He was addressing as chief guest at the closing ceremony of International Exhibition on Marine, Port and Shipping (MPS) at K Square, GEC Circle in the port city.
The three-day exhibition on marine and ship building industry was organized jointly by Bangladesh Marine Academy and Limra Trade Fairs and Exhibitions Pvt Ltd. As many as 32 ship building, ship repairing and engineering companies, equipment manufacturers and lubricants services participated in the exhibition.
Presided over by Commandant of Bangladesh Marine Academy Dr Sajid Hussain the concluding session of the exhibition was also addressed by Shipping Secretary Abdul Mannan as special guest, Chittagong Port Authority chairman Rear Admiral Nizam Uddin Ahmed, Third Secretary of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Bangladesh Ms Elena Nikolicheva and Captain Sohail Hussain.
Referring to the demand of the main opposition BNP calling for the government to bag pardon to the World Bank for "alleged corruption" on the Padma deal Minister Shajahan Khan MP replied, "The people that had given birth to a nation through war do not know how to bow down to others on false allegations."
Khan said the World Bank had suspended as many as seven projects in communication sector during the tenure of the last BNP government "Rather they should apologize to the people of Bangladesh for their corruption."
He said the government of Sheikh Hasina has undertaken a master plan to re-excavate 3600 kilo metres of river routes throughout the country. Of that, 80 km river routes have already been re-excavated while the total project will take nine years for completion, he said adding that no government in the past did take any such project although most of the rivers of the country have gone out of
Shipping secretary hailed the Marine Academy for organizing the exhibition for the first time in the country's history. "This sort of exhibitions should be organized regularly but with diversification."
CPA chairman said the Chittagong Port has made tremendous achievement in the last few years with a major leap in its handling capacity. Last year, the port handled 1.5 million TEUs container and 49 million tons of cargo at the annual growth of 14 per cent, he said.
The cargo handling capacity will double next year when the New Mooring Container Terminal with the annual capacity of 1.5 million will go into full swing operation next year. He informed that Pangaon Container Terminal will also go into operation by March 2013 that will enable the port to reach the containers Dhaka from Chittagong within 30 hours only.
Ms Elena spoke highly about the emerging ship building sector in Bangladesh and also assured that her country will accelerate full support to further expansion of the industry in the days to come.
[ TRADE & MARKET ] 2012-07-15