Five jetties and necessary infrastructure will be set up in the economic zones in the country's south-eastern part to ensure comfortable and safe movement of people as well as tourism and landing facilities.
The Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) will implement the project involving about Tk 1,923 crore in cooperation with the Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (Beza) between July 2020 and June 2023.
The government will provide the fund and the Beza will come up with land to implement the project, according to the project proposal.
The jetties will provide infrastructure facilities to carry the rising volume of goods and items for local people in Chittagong and Cox's Bazar and they will contribute to the economic development, Paban Chowdhury, executive chairman of the Beza, told The Daily Star.
The agency has urged the BIWTA to establish the jetties in the zones.
The proposal has been sent to the shipping ministry seeking consent. Later, it will be sent to the planning commission for approval, said a source at the BIWTA.
The jetties will help expand tourism activities and attract foreign and domestic tourists through modern landing facilities, Chowdhury said.
They will also help expand economic activities by spurring water-borne transport businesses and generate jobs.
Local farmers and small businessmen will be able to transport their products within a short time and at lower costs, he said.
The planned jetties will be built on Sandwip channel on the banks of the Naf river in Teknaf and in Maheshkhali island.
The Mirsarai Economic Zone, which is located on the bank of Sandwip channel, will be the industrial hub where hundreds of thousands of workers will work, according to the Beza executive chairman.
They will move between the zone and Sandwip island and adjacent areas. So, jetties will be required for their smooth movement, he said.
At Subrang-Jaliar Dwip in Teknaf and Sonadia island in Cox's Bazar, eco-tourism parks are being set up with a view to attracting thousands of tourists every day in the future.
Under the project, the BIWTA will dredge 3.67 lakh cubic metres of area for safe berthing of water vessels and acquire 25.86 lakh acres of land.
It will construct 75,480 square feet in jetty space, 8,485 square metre in parking yard, 24,000 square metre access road, and 4,000 metre embankment to save river banks.
The BIWTA will construct the 23,488 square metre port complex.
The construction of several economic zones is going on in Mirsarai and Cox's Bazar region.
An expert team of the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology has prepared the design for jetties and yards and carried out the feasibility study.