Published at: The Financial Express, March 02, 2019
Mongla Port, the second largest sea port of the country, witnessed at least 100 foreign ship anchoring last month (February), breaking all previous records, said an official.
“The record touched a milestone in the monthly statistics in last seven decades after establishing the port,” he told BSS.
The Mongla port has been playing a vital role in the country’s economic development since 2009 as some very important initiatives were taken by the then government, said the official.
Public Relations Officer of Mongla Port Authority (MPA) Makhruzzaman said the port turned into a losing concern in the years from 2001 to 2008 because of manifold problems.
In the month of February in 2007-08 fiscal year, only seven foreign ships anchored at the port. A total of nine development projects and four ADB programmes were implemented from 2009 to 2017, involving an investment of over Tk 4.54 billion, to enhance the ability of the port, he said.
Currently, at least 10 projects are being implemented, five projects are under the process of getting approval and four other projects are under DPP stage. The official, however, said the MPA has already ensured different facilities for the users to get quick and quality services.
The facilities includes capital dredging at the Pashur River, purchasing different 42 containers and cargo handling machinery and setting up modern channel at Pashur River to arrive and discharge foreign ships round the clock.
Contacted, Chairman of Mongla Port Authority Commodore AKM Faruk Hasan said that the government has taken many initiatives to enhance the ability of the port.
The number of foreign ships arriving is increasing day by day as industrialization boosted up centering the port and Rampal Power Plant. Investors are importing different production materials like machinery, cement clinkers, cars, fertilisers and equipment.
The MPA has earned a profit of Tk 2.66 billion in FY 2016-17 and Tk 2.86 billion in FY 2017-18, he said.
In FY 2007-08, a total of 0.75 million tonnes of cargoes were handled at the port, but increased to 0.97 million tonnes in FY 2017-18, he said, adding that dredging is progressing at Rampal Power Plant area, Food Silo area and outer berth in the Pashur River.
In line with the ‘Vision-2021’ envisaged by the government, all the projects are being implemented to attract foreign companies to operate in the economic zones as well as ensure balanced development of every region of the country.