CHITTAGONG, Jan 23: Payra Seaport, the 3rd seaport of the country, is expected to start functioning by the later part of next month.
Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan revealed this recently during an exclusive interview with The Daily Observer when he was asked about the formal functioning of the seaport.
The Minister, however, hoped that operational activities of the seaport would begin at the end of February.
All preparations have already been completed in this regard under the auspices of the Ministry of Shipping, he said.
Shajahan also said that the decisions on tariff structure by the National Board of Revenue would be taken by this month. "After that, the port will start full-fledged operations."
In this connection, the construction of jetties and dredging of the navigational channels are going on in full swing, the Minister said.
To meet the country's increasing trend of maritime trade, the government has undertaken the project to construct the Payra Seaport at Rabnabad Channel of Patuakhali district as the 3rd seaport of the country.
Earlier on November 10 in 2013, Payra Seaport Act-2013 was passed in the National Parliament. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasian inaugurated the construction work on November 19.
Rabnabad Channel under Kalapara is a naturally suitable place for constructing a seaport. There are no restrictions regarding length and beam. Port channel is being designed to cater 14.5 metre draught vessels.
The selected location is naturally privileged with plenty of spaces for developing the modern seaport infrastructure associated with Economic Zone, Garments, Cement, Fertilizer, Container, LNG, Passenger Terminal, Ship Building Industry etc.
The port has good accessibility to inland by waterways. Bangladesh Navy has carried out preliminary survey of the waterways from Payra port to reach up to Dhaka and beyond.
They also found the depth of water there ranging from 5-15 metres. The study had shown good potentials of the port for cheaper transportation of imported cargo.
The government has decided to connect Barisal and Patuakhali up to Kuakata sea beach with four lane road. The project will connect Payra Port with other destinations of the country.
Key benefits derived from the port are faster and easier export of agricultural products, first green sea port of Bangladesh, boosting of garments industries and accelerated exports, industrial developments in the exclusive Export Processing Zone, high benefit cost ration, levy earning by multinational use, enhanced international trade facilities, development of eco tourism, economic use of waterways for carriage of goods, compliance of national and international policies etc.
Mother vessels carrying bulk cargo of over 15 metre draught will be able to anchor at the Payra Outer Anchorage.
Extensive size and deep water favours undertaking long conceptual plan to develop large numbers of quays and docks on both banks to enable harbourage of all type of vessels with the channel beds also enabling the ocean-going ships to anchor offshore and discharge their cargo into barges, sources concerned said.
They also said the Payra authorities may undertake plan to build terminals for specialized cargo on both banks of the channel.