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Dredging Plan to Enhance Mongla Port’s Large Ship Handling Capacity

Posted on April 18, 2017

By Hasibul Aman, daily-sun

The government has taken an initiative to conduct dredging at the outer bar of Pashur channel to enhance Mongla port’s large ship handling capacity, keeping an eye on future needs.

Currently, the country’s second largest port cannot handle ships larger than 8.5-metre draft at anchorage of Pashur channel because its outer bar does not allow bigger ships although it has anchorage berth for 10.5-metre draft ships.

Some 104 lakh cubic metres dredging will be conducted at the outer bar of the channel under a proposed scheme to improve navigability so that it can help anchor ships up to 10.5 metres draft during natural tide, sources at planning commission said.

Nearly Tk 733 crore has been estimated to be spent on the Mongla port’s navigability improvement project. The entire fund will be borne from the state coffer.

The importance of the southern port is increasing day by day with construction of Padma Multipurpose Bridge nearing completion and increased economic activities there.

Simultaneously with the Padma Bridge construction, a rail line from Khulna to Mongla is being installed, which is expected to play a vital role in increasing export and import at the port after completion of 6.15- km bridge linking the capital city with south and southwester parts.

Once the Padma Bridge becomes operational, Mongla port can lower hassle of RMG exporters from Dhaka and its adjacent areas.

At present, apparel exporters struggle to export apparels through Chittagong port because of nagging traffic congestion on the Dhaka-Chittagong highway.

The government has a plan to set up a special economic zone for Indian investors and expand the existing EPZ to facilitate setting up of more industries near Mongla port.

Besides, a 1,320MW coal-fired power plant is being set up at Rampal, for which huge amount of coal will be imported every year through Mongla port.

At least 45 lakh metric tonnes of coal will be imported every year through the port for the under-construction power plant, official sources said.

The planned development activities, including construction of proposed Khan Jahan Ali airport, are expected to be complete during 2018 to 2021 period.

By the time, Mongla port’s activity will see a boom that will require the port to become capable of handling of ships with 10.5 metres draft at its outer anchorage.

In view of these, the government is devising plans to increase navigability of the port and improve port facilities.

Once the project gets formal nod from the government, implementing agency, the ministry of shipping will implement it by June 2019.

Apart from the dredging, a navigability study will be done on Pashur channel which has a very complex navigability nature in high tide and low tide.

Source: daily sun

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