Govt to modernize Benapole land port


In order to streamline the revenue collection and expedite the trade activities, the government has taken an initiative to modernize the country’s largest land port, Benapole. As part of the initiative, the government is going to build a state-of-the-art cargo vehicle terminal there spending an amount of Tk. 289 crore and 68 lakh, Planning Commission sources said.

The project will be placed before the Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC) soon. If it gets the ECNEC nod, the Land Port Authority, a body under the Shipping Ministry, will implement the project by 2021, sources added. National Board of Revenue Sources said that huge export-import activities amounting to around Tk. 30,000 crore are done annually through this land port. The exchequer thus, collects revenue around Tk. 5,000 crore annually from here.

According to the port authority data, around 800 to 900 Bangladeshi and Indian trucks gather here every day for export-import purposes. This border is playing a key role for the export-import activities with the neighboring countries, especially with India. However, the port is now facing huge infrastructural lacking, creating traffic congestion and obstructing smooth activities. Once the cargo vehicle terminal is built, at least 1250 trucks can be parked at a time, sources said.

Under the project, 29.1 acres of land requisition, 24,597 cubic metres of land development, 2100 metres of territory fence, 6000 square metres of internal land construction, and 1, 47,000 square metres of parking yard will be implemented. Besides, some other relevant activities will also be done under this project. Planning Commission member Shamina Nargis, the concerned official with the project told Bangladesh Post that if the project is implemented, it will boost the export-import proceedings with the neighboring countries, increasing the government’s revenue.

“The project will also enhance the land route trade and commerce with India, as there has been huge trading between the two countries,” she said. Mafizur Rahman, president of the Benapole Clearing and Forwarding Agents Association said that despite having huge demands, the businesses are to face hassle to execute their trading through this port due to its infrastructural weaknesses.

The government is sincerely thinking to modernize this port, he said, adding if the port is made a modern one, the government will be able to collect double revenue from here through vibrant trade and commercial activities. “Bangladesh has also signed trade and commerce deals with some neighboring countries, which will also be facilitated if the port becomes a modern one,” he added.

After founding in 1972, Benapole has become the country’s largest land port through its vibrant activities. Around 80 percent of land-route export-import procedures are done through it.