AK Hiru, Khulna
As an alternative to Chattogram Port, the government has taken steps to turn Mongla as an international port to ease export and import through the port. The Mongla port authorities have started dredging the channel of the port to ensure 10 to 10.5 metre depth at the jetty of the port to handle large ships. At present the port can handle ships having 7 to 7-50 metre of drifts.
It is learnt, the Mongla port is situated 131-kilometre upstream at the east side of the river Pashur. The entrance of the channel from the Bay of Bengal is known as the 'outer bar' and from Joymonir Goal to the Jetty of the port is known as 'Inner Bar'. The depth of this 30- kilometre long channel area is five to six metre.
To ensure an additional capacity to carry goods through this route, projects have been taken for dredging the Mongla port areas. Ministry of Shipping has taken up the project of ' Inner bar Dredging' to implement which has also got approval at the meeting of ECNEC on Tuesday. The cost for implementation of the project has been estimated at taka 793 crore 72 lakh and 80 thousand which is supposed to complete within June-2022.
Sources from the Ministry of Shipping informed, under the project, 158 lakh cubic metre of soil and silt will be removed through suction dredgers and 58 lakh cubic metre soil and silt will be removed by using Trailing Suction Hopper dredgers. A total of 200,000 cubic metres of Dyke and 50,000 cubic metres of Geo tube dykes will be constructed under the project.
It is learnt in 2016-'17 fiscal year, goods was imported through 26,952 containers whereas at the first three-month of 2017-2018, goods were imported through nearly 8,000 containers in the port. The number of container handling at the port was gradually increasing.
Zahirul Haque, Chief Planner of Mongla Port authority informed, at present ship having 7 to 7.30 metre draft can reach the Mongla port.
This will be turned to 10 to 10.50 metres. After the inauguration of the Padma bridge, Mongla will be the nearest port from Dhaka and port
will then be able to handle 3,000 ships annually.