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CPA may operate Pangaon container terminal
The government is likely to hand over the country’s first Inland Container Terminal (ICT) at Pangaon in Keraniganj to Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) as it found giving the container operations work to other available parties not viable.
The shipping ministry earlier scrapped awarding the work to Chittagong–based M/S Everest Enterprise for container handling at the inland terminal as it quoted comparatively higher charges.
Besides, commencing operation at the country’s first river terminal would be delayed by one and a half years if the government moves to operates it under Public and Private Partnership mode, shipping ministry sources said.
“The proposal to hand over the charge to Chittagong Port Authority will be placed for approval at the next meeting of the cabinet committee on public purchase” said a senior official of the shipping ministry.
The official also said it is necessary to start operation at the Pangaon terminal as the businesses demand to open the port immediately to reduce the transport costs of goods.
M/S Everest Enterprise earlier brought three-month stay order from the High Court against the cabinet committee’s decision to scrap the deal, officials informed.
Meanwhile, CPA wants to start operating the terminal at Pangaon from December this year to ensure smooth container handling at the port, sources in shipping ministry said.
The 1, 16,000-container capacity river terminal, constructed at a cost of Tk 1.77 billion, remained idle for long as the private firm given to operate the terminal sought at least one year time to start functioning.
CPA chairman and its high officials visited the terminal last month and formed an 11-member committee for selection of manpower and equipments to operate the terminal.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to inaugurate the terminal which will ensure transportation of goods between Dhaka and Chittagong Port at lower cost and time.
The government moved to build the inland container terminal in 2000 to ease mounting pressure on the Dhaka and Chittagong highway.
Business community now uses the Dhaka-Chittagong highway and the limited number of trains to carry their goods to and from Chittagong that takes 12-15 hours.
The pressure of motorised vehicles on the Dhaka-Chittagong highway has worsened congestion, causing an immense suffering of the common passengers.
Exporters and importers said longer transporting time due to excessive dependence on roads affects them adversely.
Abdus Salam Murshedy, President of the Exporters Association of Bangladesh (EAB) told daily sun that the development of the port is much needed for boosting trade and the economic activities of the country”
More than 92 percent of Bangladesh's nearly $60 billion export-import trade is done through Chittagong Port.
The terminal is being implemented by Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority and funded by CPA.
[ Back Page ] 2012-08-03