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Breathe life into Chittagong

  • Published at 06:25 pm July 22nd, 2018
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Photo: MD MANIK

The need of the hour is to decentralize, and this can only be done through building up other major cities like

The port city of Chittagong has immense potential on many fronts, and there is no reason it cannot be transformed into a global financial centre and commercial hub, with links to India, Nepal, Bhutan, China, and the rest of the world.

But, sadly, Chittagong has languished in recent years, failing to get the importance it deserves, and failing to get true recognition as a commercial capital that other port cities around the world, like New York and Mumbai, have received.

This is largely due to the fact that policy-makers in the past have, and continue to, ignore the tremendous strategic advantages of Chittagong’s location -- and this neglect is hurting the whole country, not to mention our capital city of Dhaka.

Because of some unfortunate policies made for short-term gain, numerous industries have been forced to move from Chittagong to Dhaka, which is the last thing Bangladesh needs.

The need of the hour is to decentralize, and this can only be done through building up other major cities like Chittagong -- only then will the untenable pressures on Dhaka city subside.

But the political will needs to be there -- our government cannot continue to ignore the strategic and geographical importance of the port city, and to that end, we must give due importance to the construction of a deep sea port, and see its implementation through to the end.

Furthermore, the government should seize the endless possibilities in river connectivity, tourism, the blue economy, and the energy sector.

In recent years, Bangladesh has emerged as a formidable player in the global economy, but to carry this success through to the future, Chittagong’s port capacities must be expanded -- this means building more port infrastructure in a speedy and efficient way, without endless bureaucracy standing in the way of progress.

Breathing new life into the city of Chittagong will not only provide a tonic for the nation’s economy, but could also be the answer to making our cities, especially our capital city, more liveable and sustainable.