The ‘Chittagong Port Authority Bill, 2021’ has been placed in the Parliament with the provision of tougher punishment for polluting environment in the port area.
State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury on Monday placed the Bill in the House.
Later, the Bill was sent to the respective Parliamentary Standing Committee for further scrutiny. The parliamentary watchdog was asked to submit its report within 60 days.
The Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) is now run by the ‘Chittagong Port Authority Ordinance, 1976’, formulated by the then Martial Law government. Later in 1995, the-then government amended the Ordinance including 17 clauses.
The CPA is now getting permanent law after 45 years of the formulation. The proposed CPA law would replace the CPA Ordinance of 1976.
As per the proposed law, the punishment for harming the environment by polluting water, land and coast will be fixed as per the environment conservation law. The bill says that if waste is generated by any ship or mechanical equipment in the port area, its owner or master or representative must remove it.
The draft law also says that if any rule under the law is breached and punishment for which is not stated in the environment conservation law, the fine will be six months of imprisonment or Tk two lakh fine or both.
As per a new provision incorporated in the bill, the punishment for dodging toll, fee and other charges of the port is a one-month jail or fine of Tk one lakh or both.
For rent and toll, the CAP will formulate a chart and take permission from the government. But for below Tk 5000 rent or toll no permission will be required.
The bill has a provision for compensation in the case of any damage to the dock, pier, installation or authority due to the negligence of a ship's master, or someone working in the ship.
The draft law also proposed creation of a fund for the development of the Port.
As per the proposed law, there will be one Chairman and a seven-member Board for Chattogram Port Authority. In the existing law, there is a four-member board of the CPA. The Board will hold at least one meeting in every two months.