A fast-track project of the government -- establishment of the country's third deep-sea port proposed at Cox's Bazar's Sonadia -- has plunged into uncertainty.
The existing two ports in Chattogram and Mongla are being upgraded, while construction of two deep-sea ports in Payra and Matarbari is underway. On completion of these, the fifth port would be built at Sonadia, if need be, said Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal yesterday.
“It will take time. If we need that, we will go for that [building Sonadia port]. Until then, these four ports will be good enough at this moment,” he said while briefing journalists after a meeting of the cabinet committee on purchase.
The meeting, chaired by the minister, was held at the Secretariat in the capital.
Ten proposals on different public purchases, including recruitment of a consultant for the first terminal of Payra Port in Patuakhali, were approved at the meeting.
Two consultancy firms -- Kunhwa Engineering and Consulting Co. Ltd, based in Korea, and Daeyoung and Heerim (JV) -- will jointly be recruited for the proposal for Payra Port that would involve Tk 79 crore.
Replying to a query regarding completion of Payra Port, the minister said a huge volume of construction was going on there which would take five to seven years to complete.
On the Matarbari port in Cox's Bazar, he said the government was constructing the port such a way that bigger ships from around the world could easily use it.
The committee, at the meeting, approved another proposal to import 50,000 tonnes of wheat, which would be supplied by an Australian company called SK International Private Limited. The cost of the wheat would be $271.75 per tonne.
Besides, the meeting approved a proposal to purchase 206 double-cabin pickups for the assistant commissioners (land) of different upazilas. The purchase would be made from the state-run Pragoti at a cost of Tk 103 crore, said Kamal.