‘PM's big challenge was turning Mongla port export-friendly’

Published : 05 Oct 2021 08:34 PM | Updated : 06 Oct 2021 06:17 PM

Bagerhat’s Mongla Port, which has been at loss for several years, has now turned into a profitable institute. This has been only possible with the vision, dynamic leadership and direction of the present government.

The port is now preferred by traders due to its ongoing development activities and efficient management. In a recent interview with Bangladesh Post, Port Chairman Rear Admiral Mohammad Musa informed about the progress of Mongla Port.

He said the seaport is considered as a beacon of the economy. Under the dynamic leadership and direction of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the worthy daughter of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the activities at Mongla Port did not stop for even an hour amid the Corona pandemic. 

In order to keep the import and export of the country normal, the officials and employees of the port have relentlessly carried out their duties and kept the Mongla port in full swing.

He said during the tenure of this government, more than 50 development activities including 14 projects were completed for the development of Mongla port. As a result, the port has become more active and the use of the port is increasing at a rate of more than 16 per cent every year.

He said the government has undertaken massive development activities in the south-west for the balanced development of the country's economy. If these activities are implemented, the use of Mongla port will increase significantly. The port is also ready to handle that pressure. The port is also gearing up to provide transit facilities to Nepal, Bhutan and India. For this, various projects have already been taken up.

The port chairman said, “There are three main aspects of any seaport including the navigability of the channel, port and customs facilities and the communication system from the port to the destination. All the three aspects of this port are being developed through various projects.” 

“We have already completed dredging in the harbor area to increase navigability. Dredging projects have been implemented from the port area to Rampal. The dredging project in the Outer Bar area is in the final stages. As a result of the implementation of these two projects, ships of 10 m draft will be able to come to this port instead of the current 8.5 m draft”, he added. 

He further said, “Apart from this, I am hopeful that the service quality of the port will be significantly improved with the completion of projects like container terminal, multi-storey car yard, six-lane road development in the port area, modern security system and automation etc. in phases.” 

The distance from Mongla port to Dhaka is about 90 km less than the distance from Chattogram port. This will create an easy opportunity for some Dhaka-centric cargo, especially garments, to be transported through the port. Apart from this, the implementation of Khulna-Mongla rail link will also create opportunities for transporting cargo to Mongla port by rail. 

“In this way, I think Mongla Port will be able to provide better services to its users through significant development in all three aspects. This has been revealed in the research of various consulting firms at home and abroad. At the same time, once the construction of the Padma Bridge is completed, the cargo handling at Mongla Port will increase at a more significant rate. Another thing I would like to mention is that in the field of port tariffs, we have become much more business friendly than before”, he said. Rear Admiral Mohammad Musa said the port's cargo container delivery process has been made much easier and more dynamic. As a result, port users are able to take delivery in a short time. Apart from that, the port is attracting more users as the tariff at Mongla port is much less than all other ports in the country.

He said Mongla Customs has had some successes but already. If the adopted projects are implemented expeditiously, they will be able to shift the housing system from Khulna to Mongla in the near future. Excellent relations are currently maintained between the port and customs. The port authorities and customs are carrying out operational activities in a coordinated manner to ensure timely delivery of goods.