Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) Chairman, Air Commodore Zulfiqur Aziz, said they are now working to turn the port into a user-friendly one.
He made the remark while addressing a views-exchange meeting with journalists yesterday.
The meeting was organized at Shaheed Fazlur Rahman Munsi Auditorium in the city, as a part of programs undertaken to mark the 131st founding anniversary of the country’s premier maritime port.
CPA started its journey with the enactment of the Port Commissioner’s Act on April 25, 1887. Around 90% of the country’s export and import activities are done through this port located by the estuary of the Karnaphuli River.
“It has become a big challenge for us to handle the ever-increasing cargo, containers, and vessels in the port,” Aziz said.
“CPA has achieved around 9.36% of growth in container handling and 10.97% in cargo handling in the last one year. To cope with this ever-increasing growth, we have already begun the construction of Patenga Container Terminal with the help of the Bangladesh Army. We hope the construction work will be completed by 2019.”
The CPA chairman said further that “To enhance the port’s dynamism and efficiency, we have selected five enterprises to constructthe Ladia Multi-Purpose Terminal on a public-private partnership basis. We hope the construction work will begin by the middle of next year.”
In the meantime, CPA has started procuring equipment to make the New Mooring Container Terminal fully operational, he added.
“We have already procured nine rubber-tyred gantry cranes, four straddle carriers, and a rail-mounted gantry crane. Shipment of three straddle carriers has been completed, while a letter of credit has been opened to procure six ships that will be used to shore up the cranes.”
“As we are going to face a huge navigability crisis due to massive siltation in the Karnaphuli river, we have decided to start the dredging work as soon as possible, with the help of the Bangladesh Navy.”
The dredging of the river has remained stalled ever since the project’s Malaysian contractor left in 2013.