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Bangladesh should have gone for Deep Sea Port February 28, 2008

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, ECONOMY, Yunus.
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Bangladesh is discussing about deep sea port since long. The last BNP govt took initiative to study the feasibility of a deep sea port. But it did not go further.

Dr. Mohammad Yunus, our Nobel laureate, in late 2006 and early 2007, in the loudest voice and in full conviction pronounced the need of a deep sea port. He also demanded setting up of a mega-port in Chittagong for exploring the potential of the area and bringing economic development.

With facilities for docking larger vessels the mega port could turn this region into a commercial hub of international standard benefiting all users, said the Nobel laureate.
Through opening the mega port for China, north-eastern states of neighbouring India and for landlocked countries like Nepal and Bhutan the wheel of the country’s economy can be moved faster, he said.
The mega port could be run as a social business where the poor and underprivileged women could also be among the stakeholders like those in Grameen Bank, he added.
A highway linking the neighbouring landlocked countries will also be required to facilitate transport of goods from the mega seaport, Dr Yunus said

But his comment drew mixed reaction from the politicians and citizen groups.

The present caretaker government in its early months took initiatives to explore the possibility of deep sea port. But after the feasibility study by a Japanese firm which stated that Tk 42,000 crore would be spent for the port to be completed in three phases by the year 2055. The new caretaker government abandoned the process on the plea that it will take long time and huge amount of money , the project of such magnitude could only be taken by a elected government. But the main reason to avoid the plan is likely to avoid political criticism.

When Bangladesh is sleeping, our neighbors are advancing on their deep sea port projects.

Under an economic cooperation strategy (ECS) of Combodia, Laos Myanmar and Thailand are building a deep-sea port at Dawei. Myanmar is also developing another port at the south west point of its border along the sea.

India is working on a deep sea port in Bay of Bengal. West Bengal is entrusted with the responsibility to invite bidding for the project, a Dutch company is already showed its interest in the project. Deep sea port will also enhance their chemical hub in the area.
Even Pakistan has more than one deep sea port.

.It is true that the cost of deep sea port is huge, it will not be possible for Bangladesh to bear the burden alone. It will require the international support. There was an alternative proposal from Dr. Yunus where he said that deep sea port may be started on the principle of social business and common people could be immensely benefited by such a project..

Deep sea port is taking the same fate of optic fiber connection which Bangladesh adopted years after other countries of the world and of the region adopted the technology.

The saying ‘What Bengal thinks today, rest of the India thinks tomorrow’ has been reversed because of lack of foresight of our political leaders and criticism from ‘experts’ under the disguise of ‘patriotism’.

Time is not yet over, Government should reconsider the situation and take necessary steps as early as possible at least to be at par with other neighbors.

An ordinary citizen

Comments»

1. Rezwan - March 6, 2008

A couple of years ago a German grant in the power sector was overturned by the Bangladeshi authorities. Their objection was that there was a clause that the project would be audited periodically by the donor. Bangladeshis cited that its a violation on their independence (imagine the real reason).

Then a consultant told you are not facing the reality, in 2-3 years time there will be drastic shortage of power in your country and you won’t be able to get out of it. But that did not matter to the policy makers, they were in two minds (looking for undercuts). So eventually they could not take the decision.

So even if all efforts are made from now, the current power crisis won’t be overcome before 2011.

The deep sea port would create a lot of jobs and boost the economy. Its true that the developing countries don’t get much options for a better deal. But we need to be positive in taking decisions.

Hindering economic growth with these indecision will only pull us down.

2. Mohammad Fazle Rabbi - March 15, 2008

Due to the upside down V shape of the Bay of Bengal and being Bangladesh at the apex, we have a better opportunity to set up a Deep Sea Port, which might be used by Bangladesh, India, Nepal , Bhutan, and China. What we need to do at the moment, is to take the lead ahead of India. Otherwise the chance will go out of our hands. What that mean to us are:

a. Handling more cargo for the region and support the export an import.
b. Get revenue in FC from the neighbors by providing Transit Services.
c. Create new jobs and industries along the East Coast.
d. Develop the communication on the East Coast Belt.
e. Find alternatives for Chittagong and Mongla Port.
f. Reduce the affect of political and labour unrest.
g. Ultimate development of the South East Region.

I wish the Government will take positive decision in this respect. This should also has to be quick enough and given priority.

3. wahid ahmed - June 8, 2009

before giving my comments it is my duty to focus on the deep sea port,we need to give more priority to specify the territory of bangladesh. bangladesh should be protected from land aggrassion of india.we think india as our friendly state but we need to think it properly that the status of two diffrent state will make the friendly relation most effective if the states have that position to compete with each other.if bangladesh fails to achieve any certain economic status, protected territory, protected sea zone.then the state can enhance there helping or friendly hands .and bangladesh should have established a big sea port.as early as possible.


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