To enable the Hajj pilgrims to make affordable trips to Saudi Arabia's Jeddah from Chattogram, Karnafuly Ship Builders Ltd, one of the largest privately-owned shipbuilding companies in Bangladesh, is going to import a passenger ship.
The company has already applied to the government to be allowed to import the ship, confirmed Engineer MA Rashid, managing director, Karnaphuly Ship Builders Limited, while meeting with reporters on Thursday.
He said if the company gets the permit to bring the ship, it will take eight days to reach Saudi Arabia from Chattogram. Earlier, it would take around a month to make the journey to Saudi Arabia by sea but now ships are using modern technology and have higher speed, he said.
"We hope to introduce a cost-effective travelling option for the Hajj pilgrims," Rashid added.
He further said that travelling by sea will enable Hajj pilgrims to perform their prayers in the ship without any inconvenience which, perhaps, is not always possible while travelling by air.
During the meeting with the journalists, Rashid said the private sector must come forward for the development of the country. He also highlighted some of Karnafuly's achievements as a company.
"Our company, one of the leading dredgers building companies in Asia, has made dredgers worth around Tk5,000 crore for Bangladesh. The company also recently has built the first-ever private jetty of the country named Karnaphuly Dry Dock Limited in Chattogram," he said.
According to Rashid, the jetty is helping to reduce the average waiting time of ships in the outer port.
"We will build two more jetties and a dry-dock which will be completed within two years," he added.