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Dhaka Tribune

Ctg port stalemate ends

Update : 21 Apr 2013, 05:49 AM


The 16-day stalemate at Chittagong Port which has already disrupted the supply chain of essential commodities ended peacefully yesterday. Leaders of Chittagong Cargo Vessels Owner Association and Coastal Vessels Owners Association decided to ply their vessels after a fruitful discussion with Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan at Chittagong Port auditorium yesterday evening.  Shahajahan Khan was scheduled to sit at a discussion with the vessels owner associations at the Port Rest House at 9:30am in an effort to end the stalemate. A 12-member committee was formed to draft rules and regulation consisting the members of different stake holders, including vessel owners, port authorities and shipping ministry to solve the crisis permanently.  The committee was asked to submit its report within 15 working days.

The vessels owners said that private cargo vessels owners should not be given 100 percent transport from mother Vessels and 50 percent transport facilities should be given to them.  The Minister assured them of considering their demands.

Talking to journalists, Shahjahan Khan said they sat several times for resolving the stalemate and the ship owners agreed to ply their vessels following four decisions.  Lighter vessel workers went on an indefinite strike on April 5 demanding 20 Percent hike in their salary. Meanwhile, lighter vessel owners on April 13 suspended carrying goods in demand of bringing 130 lighter vessels owned by different private industrial units under the purview of Water Transport Cell (WTC).The 130 industry-owned vessels have been carrying raw materials and finished products of the factories without any schedule. All other lighter vessels, on the other hand, have to go by the schedule issued by the WTC. Nearly 1,200 lighter vessels carry goods to and from the port jetties and the mother vessels at the outer anchorage as the mother vessels cannot berth at the jetties due to their depth. The lighter vessels also carry goods from the mother vessels to 16 destinations across the country. Shipping Secretary Syed Monjurul Islam, Director General of River Transport Directorate Commodore Jubair Ahmed, Chittagong Port Authority Chairman Commodore Nizam Uddin Ahmed, President of Chittagong Cargo Vessels Owner Association Mahabub Uddin and President Coastal Vessels Owners Association Gazi Belayet Hossain, among others, attended the meeting with the minister.
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