Dhaka-Ctg highway in shocking state

Uncertainty over transportation of export, import goods: Business leaders want quick implementation of 4-lane project

28 August 2014 Kazi Zahidul Hasan

Business leaders on Wednesday expressed concerned over the dilapidated condition of Dhaka-Chittagong highway and urged the government to take all-out efforts to repair the damaged portion of the road immediately to maintain smooth transportation of commodities and export deadlines.
They also said that the prevailing deplorable condition of the 465 kilometer highway was not only disrupting transportation of export-import cargoes but also raising the cost of business.
The business leaders also called upon the government to speed up construction of the Dhaka-Chittagong four-lane project to free the road not only from prolonged traffic congestion, but also for free flow of goods as well.
"Businesses are severely hurt  by the prevailing condition of Dhaka-Chittagong highway as almost 80 per cent of the goods-laden vehicles use this road to gear up export and import businesses," Kazi Akram Uddin Ahmed, President of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), told The New Nation yesterday.
He said, now transpiration of goods on the highway is taking 12 to 14 hours instead of usual six to eight hours due to its sorry state. It raises the transportation cost as well as cost of trading.
"The exporters miss shipment deadline for delay in reaching export cargoes in the Chittagong port forcing them to bear demurrage and cancellation of export orders," he noted.
Terming the highway as the 'lifeline' of economy, the FBCCI chief urged the government to take immediate steps to repair the damaged portion of the road and to complete the construction of the four-lane project at the earliest for smooth movement of export-import cargoes.
If time for transportation of export and import goods or materials can be slashed, it will have huge economic benefits.. A smooth movement of cargo transportation on the highway would also help grow production, business and commerce at a much faster pace," he said.
"Garment exporters are the worst victim of the present condition of the highway. Our export and import cargoes remain stuck for many hours on the way to Chittagong from Dhaka and vice-versa due to dilapidated road condition hampering production and shipment," said M Siddiqur Rahman, former Vice-President of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA)
He also pointed out that sometimes delay in transportation of export cargo holding up shipment and it later leads to export cancellations, monetary penalty or expensive air shipments.
"Not only garments trade, all other businesses are also hampered by slow movement of goods on this important highway, because every business is inter-linked," he added.
Expressing concern over the deplorable condition of the highway, Mahbubul Alam, President of the Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) said, "The cost of goods transpiration on the Dhaka-Chittagong Highway has increased three-fold due to its present condition and traffic congestion."
Besides, such a situation creates a negative impact on the business and investment, he added.
 He requested Communications Minister Obaidul Quader to repair the highway and link roads of the port-city as soon as possible for the interest of the economy.

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