Paira seaport sees shift from PPP
Asif Showkat Kallol

The shipping ministry proposal goes to cabinet committee today

Shipping ministry has decided to complete the remaining part of Paira seaport construction works in Patuakhali with government funding instead of public-private partnership initiative.

The partial works were completed earlier under the PPP financing. 

But later the ministry failed to find any private investor to complete the remaining works, the estimated cost of which is nearly Tk350 crore, according to official sources.

The ministry has already sent a proposal in this regard to cabinet committee on economic affairs for approval, not only citing the failure to find investor but also describing the PPP a complex and time-consuming process. The proposal goes to the cabinet today.

It said private firms were only willing to invest in construction of terminals and running commercial operation of the port, which the investors think could be viable for them.

The ministry made made the decision at an inter-ministerial meeting on June 5. 

Besides, the cabinet committee on economic affairs has already given consent to construction of a deep seaport at Sonadia in Cox’s Bazar at a cost of Tk50,000 crore under the government funding arrangement.

 The Paira seaport is expected to reduce the pressure on the country’s two seaports - Chittagong and Mongla.

It is also expected to ensure economic and social development of the country’s southern and central areas, said Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan.

Chittagong Port Authority provided interest-free loan worth Tk49.6 crore in November 2013 to Paira Port Authority for land acquisition and development, and constructing pontoon and other infrastructures.

On November 19, 2013, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina formally opened the operation Paira seaport partially, which is located at Ramnabad of Kalapara upazila in the district.

The distance of Ramnabad channel from the sea is 31 kilometres, 316 km from Chittagong port, 130 km from Mongla port and 340 km from the capital.

The Chittagong seaort has a capacity to handle an aggregate volume of 1.6 million twenty  -foot equivalent units (TEUs) of containers annually while  the Mongla port haqs the capacity to handle 6.5 million tones of goods and 50,000 TEUs  of containers every year .

The first –ever port( Paira) built in the country after independence would open up a new dimension in the import –export and goods  transportation activities.

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