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13 November, 2017 01:29:44 AM

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2 new land port projects deferred

Unpleasant relation with Myanmar
JAGARAN CHAKMA
2 new land port projects deferred

Bangladesh is unlikely to establish land ports at Gundhum in Cox’s Bazar and Tegamukh in Rangamati due to the prevailing unpleasant relation with Myanmar and lack of financial viability. A decision had been taken in January this year to establish three new land ports in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) to ensure smooth and efficient trade with India and Myanmar, sources in the Land Port Authority (LPA) said.

The government had decided to establish three new land ports at Ramgarh in Khagrachhari, Gundam in Bandarban, and Tegamukh in Rangamati, said sources at the shipping ministry.

The sources also said Bangladesh has deferred the plan to build the port at Gundam in Cox’s Bazar due to the current unpleasant relation with Myanmar because of the Rohingya crisis.

The government will also not proceed with the Teghamukh land port because of financial constraints and also because the World Bank (WB) has not approved the feasibility report prepared by the local government engineering department (LGED) due to poor assessment of the route that would connect the Chittagong sea port to the proposed Teghamukh land port.

However, the sources said that the WB has provided Tk 693 crore for a feasibility study of the proposed land port in Ramgarh in Khagrachari and other port-related activities.

The port in Ramgarh will establish trade links with India’s Tripura state with which Bangladesh shares about 400 km of land border.

The sources said the improvement of the Ramgarh land port would boost trade with Tripura.

This would increas ethe efficiency of the Chittagong port, they added.

A WB team visited several ports, Customs points and the India–Bangladesh multimodal corridors in 2014 and 2015. Following its visits, the three land ports were selected on the basis of the WB team's suggestions, an LPA official said.

The official also  said a WB mission would visit the proposed Ramgarh land port site in December, after which the government would take the next step to establish the port infrastructure.

He further said official formalities are being completed for going ahead with the establishment of the Ramgarh port. He expected it to be operational within three years.

Under the project, the infrastructure, warehousing facilities, transhipment and inspection systems, customs control procedures, and institutional and regulatory framework would be developed to facilitate the smooth functioning of the ports.

The LPA sources said the Indian side is eager about an early establishment of the Ramgarh port as it would facilitate cross-border connectivity. It would also makes commercial sense, as each hour's delay entails an additional cost of USD 10–15 and a single day's delay at the border raises the tariff on goods by 1 per cent.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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