The construction of a multipurpose terminal under the long-awaited Bay Terminal project will get underway following the appointment of a contractor between January and February 2023, the Chattogram Port Authority (CPA) hopes.
At a discussion on the master plan prepared by the consultant Kunhwa DY JV for the construction of the terminal on Wednesday, CPA Chairman Rear Admiral M Shahjahan expressed his expectation to complete the work by the end of 2025.
This terminal is among three terminals to be constructed under the project.
Representatives of various stakeholders of the port and government agencies, public representatives and leaders of various business organisations were present at the views-exchange meeting.
Rear Admiral M Shahjahan, who presided over the meeting held at Shahid Mohammad Fazlur Rahman Munshi Auditorium at the port, said the complexity of khas land settlement in the project has also been resolved.
"Now the land ministry is in the process of handing over the land to the port at a nominal price," he added.
He said the multipurpose terminal will have five jetties while the Bay Terminal will have a total of 11 jetties. The terminal will have multimodal connectivity facilities.
"On the eastern side of the project is the port access road and railway tracks. The Bay Terminal has been designed in such a way that there will be no traffic jam on the outer ring road," said the CPA chairman.
The institutions which use the port say that if the delivery activities take place inside the Bay Terminal in the same way it is happening now at Chattogram port, the project will lag behind the developed world. It is proposed to shift delivery operations from the Bay Terminal and build warehouses in the private sector.
Vice President of Bangladesh Freight Forwarder Association Khairul Alam Sujan said delivering inside the Bay Terminal means the situation is like the current port.
"If delivery arrangements are made here too, we will lag behind the developed ports of the world," he expressed his concern.
In response, the port chairman said detailed drawings are being done in view of reality. The National Board of Revenue's approval is required for arranging delivery outside the port. But this opportunity will be at the Matarbari deep seaport.
The port chairman said a separate road will be constructed for the transportation of goods from the Bay Terminal. So that no kind of traffic is created on the outer ring road. The port will construct a boat yard at Rashmoni Ghat so that there is no impact on the livelihood of fishermen.
Superintending Engineer of Roads and Township Department Md Zahid Hossain proposed the construction of an elevated expressway from Faujdarhat to the Bay Terminal.
Water Development Board Supervising Engineer Shibendu Khastagir said, due to the construction of the Bay Terminal, there will be erosion in the economic zones of Sitakunda, Mirsarai, Sandeep and Beza. These areas will be at risk.
Jafar Alam, member (Planning and Admin) of the port, said Engineer Shibendu's apprehension is unrealistic, adding that according to the study reports of various organisations, there is no such fear.
Team leader Park Jong-Jin and Port Planner Kim of Kunhwa Engineering and Consulting Company Limited were also present at the meeting.
Three terminals will be constructed under the Bay Terminal project. One of these will be built with the funding of Chattogram port. The remaining two will be constructed on a public-private partnership (PPP) and G2G basis.
Among the three terminals, the multipurpose terminal will be built with the financing of the Chattogram port. The CPA signed an agreement with Korean company Kunhwa DY JV on 31 May this year to prepare detailed drawings for the construction of this terminal. As part of the agreement, the company submitted a draft master plan on 14 August.
Currently, ships over 9.5 metres in depth and 190 metres in length cannot enter Chattogram Port. The new Bay Terminal will be able to accommodate ships up to 12 metres deep and 260 metres long. There will be no need to depend on high tide to berth the ships.