Shipping ministry takes up 6 projects | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 08, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, August 08, 2010

Shipping ministry takes up 6 projects

Three to be done with Indian loans

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The shipping ministry has put forward six projects involving about Tk 7,900 crore, three of which would be implemented exclusively with Indian loans, the ministry officials said.
The three projects are construction of an inland container terminal at Ashuganj port with Tk 250 crore, dredging at different points of the 'protocol route' between Kolkata port and Ashuganj port with Tk 898 crore, and purchasing of six dredgers from India with Tk 549 crore.
All the three projects will help India transport its over dimensional cargoes (ODC) for construction of a power plant in Tripura state. The ODCs will be transported from Kolkata port to Ashuganj port using the protocol route and then be carried to Tripura through land route.
Designation of the Ashuganj port as a new port of call will also help India carry goods from Agartala to Kolkata.
While India will gain from saving in transport costs and travel time, Bangladesh will be benefited from trading in transport services.
“The entire money to be required for the implementation of the three projects will come from the Indian loans,” Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan told The Daily Star yesterday.
He said India would also invest in developing the required facilities in Ashuganj and the road to be used for carrying the ODCs.
Of the remaining projects, the ministry has sought Tk 4,356 crore for capital dredging of 53 river routes all over Bangladesh for increasing navigability.
The government has chalked out the projects under which more than 300 rivers would be dredged in the next eight years, as the length of navigable waterways in the country nearly halved in the last two decades.
The river routes to be dredged include Dhaka-Munshiganj-Gajaria-Chandpur-Chittagong route on Buriganga, Dhaleshwari, Meghna and Karnaphuli rivers.
Shipping ministry officials said they proposed that the government allocate fund for the mega project also from the Indian $1 billion line of credit, agreement of which was signed in Dhaka yesterday.
Purchasing of 17 dredgers from different countries with Tk 1,401 crore and dredging of 12 important river routes for smooth plying of passenger vessels with Tk 495 crore are the two other projects.
Dhaka-Barisal, Dhaka-Khunla, Dhaka-Chandpur, Bhoirab-Kishoreganj, Barisal-Patuakhali and Barisal-Bhola are some of the routes used for ferrying passengers.
The shipping minister also sought fund for the two projects.
“We need a number of dredgers to carry out massive dredging operation all over the country. Buying 6 dredgers from India will not be enough. The government should allocate fund to purchase more dredgers from other countries,” said a joint secretary of the shipping ministry.

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