The State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury has said that the decision to allow private companies to run the country's six land ports was wrong.
"Currently, the capacity of land port authorities has been enhanced. We should aim to increase the income of the ports through providing services," the state minister said on Monday. He was speaking at a meeting on the port authorities' administrative, financial and developmental activities at the ministry.
He said the Benapole port will be developed to be more passenger-friendly and the facilities and infrastructure development of the port will be focused on.
The state minister also directed the authorities concerned to keep adequate arrangements for extinguishing fires at the ports and also suggested considering setting up fire service stations at important ports.
The meeting was informed that fire hydrant systems have been installed at Benapole and Bhomra land ports and fire extinguishers have been set up at other ports for firefighting.
Secretary of the Ministry Mohammad Mezbah Uddin Chowdhury and Chairman of Bangladesh Land Ports Authority KM Tariqul Islam were present among others.
There are 24 land ports in the country declared by the Bangladesh Land Port Authority. Of these, 12 ports are operational. Benapole, Burimari, Akhaura, Bhomra, Nakugaon, Tamabil, and Sonahat are under their own management while the Sonamasjid, Hili, Banglabandha, Teknaf, and Bibirbazar land ports are operating on a BOT basis.
Although the Birol land port is given on a BOT basis, it has not been launched yet. In 2007, the BNP government decided to operate the six land ports on a BOT basis.