Hartals, blockades hamper transportation of fertiliser
Huge fertiliser is lying stockpiled at Baghabari river port as continuous political agitation like blockades and hartals badly hamper transportation of goods, posing risk of serious fertiliser crisis in northern districts in the boro season.
“At least 60 thousand tonnes of imported fertiliser and eight thousand tonnes of coal are stacked in the port for the last two months due to transportation problem. Entire yard of the port is occupied with goods and so, there is no room for unloading goods here now,” Md Abdus Salam, lease holder of the port, said during this correspondent’s visit there a couple of days ago.
“Around 50 thousand bags of fertiliser are daily supplied from here in normal time. But in last two months only 1.5 to 2 lakh bags were supplied as political unrest disrupted transportation. Eight hundred workers of the port often pass idle time due to the situation,” he said.
“Twenty days ago, 14 vessels loaded with 10 thousand tonnes of imported chemical fertiliser came to the port but we could not unload the goods due to lack of room,” said Md Sohrab Hossain, manager of Poton Traders, a leading carrying contract firm.
“We are counting huge demurrage for the last two months due to lack of room for unloading goods at Baghabari port as we have to pay high amount of additional fare if we cannot unload a vessel within 22 days of loading goods,” he added.
Md Abdur Rahman, staff of MV Moumita, claimed his ship come to the port with 500 tonnes of imported fertiliser on November 12 but they are too unfortunate to unload the ship till now.
“I reached Baghabari port on December 3, carrying 500 tonnes of imported fertiliser from Chittagong port but the vessel is yet to be unloaded,” said Md Sohrab Hossain Master, pilot of the AKM Shahnewaz.
At least 40 fertiliser laden vessels loaded with around 20 thousand tonnes of imported chemical fertiliser are waiting in the river for unloading the goods but there is no room for the purpose at the port, said Md Abdur Razzak, Baghabari port officer.
“At least 250 to 300 trucks daily carry fertiliser for depots in the northern districts in normal time but in last two months we could not supply more than 200 trucks a week due to continuous blockades and hartals,” he said.
“There was a target to supply 13 thousand tonnes of fertiliser from Baghabari depot in November and first week of December but we could not supply even half of the amount due to poor transportation facility,” said Shukdeb Babu, manager of Baghabari BCIC fertiliser godown.