Why Mongla Port upgradation projects hit snags

27 October 2021 Editorial Desk
Why Mongla Port upgradation projects hit snags

Two important projects undertaken for upgradation and modernisation of Mongla Port, country's second largest seaport after Chattogram, with a view to improving its capacity to handle an increased volume of cargo have not  started yet despite signing of agreements nearly half a decade ago. The two projects are to be funded by China and India. The upgradation project was supposed to be implemented with the Indian line of credit (LoC), and the modernisation one with soft loan from the Chinese National Complete Engineering Corporation (CNCEC).

Although the Mongla Port Authority signed a Tk 60-billion project deal for port upgradation under the 3rd LoC, the relevant agency is yet to appoint a consultant for the project. According to officials, there are several components in the project, including construction of two jetties, yards, a flyover and buildings. As per another agreement signed with the CNCEC, the Chinese company had the responsibility to implement the project by securing a soft loan from the Chinese government under a G2G arrangement. But it failed to arrange the funding.  Even it stopped communication with the port authority. In a bid to implement the project, Bangladesh later signed an agreement with another Chinese company -- the China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC). An MoU has also been signed with it in this regard on July 8, 2021. The company is expected to implement the project with Chinese funding.

Following the construction of the Padma Multipurpose Bridge, the southern region of the country is now witnessing massive development activities, as the bridge will directly connect the region with capital Dhaka and the rest of the country. After the Padma Bridge comes into operation, vehicle traffic as well as cargo traffic at the port will increase. Scopes will be created for transportation of import and export products, including RMG items, through this seaport. It can also play an important role for transportation of goods to and from Nepal and Bhutan under a transit arrangement. Against this backdrop upgradation and modernisation of Mongla Port should start with no further loss of time.

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