• Sunday, Jul 12, 2020
  • Last Update : 01:43 am

Mongla seaport to get railway link in 4 years

  • Published at 04:24 am May 19th, 2013
Mongla seaport to get railway link in 4 years

The growing interests of the landlocked states have prompted Bangladesh to initiate modernisation of the country’s second sea port at Mongla, Khulna which, experts say, has the potential to emerge as a South Asian regional port.

Bangladesh Railway has undertaken a project to link the port with the country’s railway network of over 28,000km, aimed at facilitating movement of goods to and from the landlocked states of Nepal, Bhutan and some states of India.

Projects, including procurement of dredgers, to make the port channels suitable for movement of bigger vessels have also been taken to tap the full potential of the underutilised port.

“In next 3-4 years, we’ll be able to connect 53 kilometres of rail track between Mongla and Khulna,” Bangladesh Railway Director General Abu Taher told the Dhaka Tribune.

He said the governments of Bangladesh and India have been funding the project worth over US$175m.

Khulna is connected by a railway network that stretched up to the Indian station of Rauxal in the Indo-Nepal border through Bangladesh’s Rohanpur and Birol stations. The route can also reach Indo-Nepal station of Jogobani.

Rehabilitation of the Chilahati-Haldibari rail link and the construction of Burimari-Changrabandha track will connect Bangladesh railway with Hashimara station along the Indo-Bhutan border through the Indian railway network.

“Mongla has huge potential to serve Nepal, Bhutan and India (if they wanted) as a trading port in the region,” said Commodore Khurshed Alam, former chairman of Mongla Port Authority.

He said the Mongla port remained underutilised and it could provide faster service for the Nepalese and Bhutanese users, who use Kolkata port for their export-import businesses.

“The goods-laden trucks can easily go to the Mongla port to be shipped in and out. The proposed rail link will be an added advantage,” he said.

Businessmen from Nepal and Bhutan have had several meetings with the governments of Bangladesh and India, expressing their interests in using the Mongla and Chittagong ports.

The two South Asian countries are separated from Bangladesh by a small strip of Indian territory. New Delhi has already agreed allowing the cargo from Nepal and Bhutan to use Bangladesh ports.

“Mongla port has every potential to become a regional port. Nepal and Bhutan can easily use the port provided Bangladesh ensures better, cheaper and faster port facilities,” said port user Syed Zahid Hossain, managing director of Khulna Trading.

He said the government should speed up the process of dredging the port channels to allow the big ships anchoring here.

At present, ships having over 7-metre draft can harbour in Mongla. But, the number of this type of ship is decreasing now.

So, the government should immediately dredge the channels enabling the big ships having 9.5-metre draft to anchor,” Hossain said.

He said Kolkata’s Haldia port had been getting silted everyday brightening Mongla’s prospect.

Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan said that the government has already started the process to procure the dredgers for maintaining navigation in Mongla port, having five jetties with the capacity of handling over 300,000 teus (twenty equivalent units) of containers per year.

“Setting up of the rail link will allow the traders to carry goods both by rail and road to and from the port,” he said.

Out of the five, two jetties are in operation. One jetty handled 40,000 teus of containers last year, Mongla Port Chairman Commodore M Habibur Rahman Bhuiyan said.

“We take at best three days to process the papers being submitted by the users from Nepal, Bhutan and India,” he said.

He informed that the Nepalese ambassador in Dhaka already visited Mongla port expressing his country’s keen interest in using the port.

In September last year, a business delegation from Nepal’s Birgunj Chamber of Commerce had series of talks with the ministers regarding the use of Mongla and Chittagong ports for third country trade.

blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail