Stakeholders at the advisory committee meeting of the Chattogram Port Authority (CPA) on Wednesday recommended that the country’s premier port be kept open round the clock.
They also demanded the removal of auction containers from the port yard as these have occupied a large space inside the port.
They placed a total of 52 recommendations at the meeting at the CPA’s Training Institute.
Other recommendations include completing the construction of the Bay Terminal as soon as possible, berthing the vessels loaded with raw material for the RMG sector on a priority basis, setting up scanners at all the gates of the port, increasing the port jetties from 13 to 50 and increasing the number of lighter vessels.
Although the meeting is scheduled to be held every three months, this was the first meeting in 20 months.
The last meeting was held on December 10, 2017.
While briefing the media after emerging out of the meeting, shipping minister Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury said the government is working in earnest to make the country’s premier port more business-friendly.
For the last ten years, the government has also been working on the overall development of Chattogram port.
He said the port has advanced six notches in container-handling in the 2019 edition of Lloyd’s List. It has also secured 64th position among the top 100 ports across the world this year.
“Our target is to be among the top 50 positions in Lloyd’s List within the next two years,” said the shipping minister.
He said the construction of the Bay Terminal will start soon since the decision to build it is about to be finalised.
“We have informed the stakeholders about the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code), and sought their help in implementing it.”
The ISPS Code is a comprehensive set of measures to enhance the security of ships and of port facilities.
In reply to a question, he said the reason for the earlier decisions not being implemented was one of their points of discussion.
“We will be careful about implementing these decisions in the future,” he said.
The stakeholders also exchanged views on how to modernise the port.
They also expressed satisfaction over the steps taken by the CPA to implement their recommendations.
The shipping minister said that the present government has emphasised river dredging, and added that “It is our lifeline. We are taking steps to keep the Karnaphuli River navigable. Dredging is a continuous process, it will continue.”
Information minister Dr Hasan Mahmud, local lawmakers Shamsul Haque Chowdhury, Mostafizur Rahman Chowdhury, Nazrul Islam and Rear Admiral Zulfiqur Aziz, Customs Commissioner Fakrul Alam, and CDA Chairman Zahirul Alam Dubash, among others, were present at the meeting.