Shipping minister Shajahan Khan has said the planned construction of a long-proposed deep sea port at Sonadia in Kutubdia,
Chittagong, could pose a ‘security risk’ being close to the Myanmar border. He suggested Akram Point near Mongla would as a more suitable location.
‘Security risk may loom large if a deep sea port is constructed at Sonadia, very close to Myanmar border,’ the minister said at an open discussion at a Khulna hotel on Saturday. ‘From view point of security, it would be more reasonable to install deep sea port at Akram Point, and the construction of the Padma Bridge would enhance the importance of Mongla Port,’ Khan said.
He said the government was already moving to dredge the river Pashur in Mongla to restore greater navigability. ‘Long-term plans have been chalked out to develop and modernise Mongla port, which could rise to be the greatest sea port in Bangladesh,’ said Khan, who took over the reins of the shipping ministry from Afsarul Amin after a cabinet reshuffle at the end of July
With its geographic location, Bangladesh is looking to the long-proposed deep-sea port to make it a major player in regional trade and act as a gateway to the region. A feasibility study for the proposed deep-sea port project, undertaken by a Japanese consulting firm, suggested the Sonadia-Moheshkhali point as the best location as recently as April.
Japan’s Pacific Consultant International (PCI) said the deep-sea port could be set up at Sonadia channel in three phases until 2055 at a cost of $ 1.2 billion with the first phase completed by 2016. Sonadia Island succeeded so far as the best optimal location for a deep sea port out of nine possible locations,
PCI said in its ‘Techno-Economic Feasibility Study of a Deep Sea Port in Bangladesh’. The present government has also said work would start on a three-phase construction of the deep-sea port by the end of the next year.
News By: Kutubi Forum