Chattogram Port, the lifeline for the country’s economy, is at risk as a huge volume of hazardous and flammable goods remain piled up at the port shed for a long period of time.
The Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) says the hazardous products that piled up in the port sheds should be cleared or destroyed on an urgent basis to avoid any risk for the country’s premier seaport.In a letter to the Customs House, CPA requested to clear hazardous goods that remained undelivered for long.
According to sources at CPA, a total of 1862 packages or equivalent to 466 metric tonnes of chemical and hazardous goods have remained piled up at ‘P’ Shed of Chattogram Port till January 31.
Of them, 1137 packages or equivalent to 150 metric tonnes of the hazardous chemical have long been remained undelivered and turned risky for the port.
“We are requesting to clear those items through auction or destroyed all of these risky goods by any means at the earliest,” said CPA in its letter to Customs House.
A recent inter-ministerial meeting presided over by State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury also discussed handling the chemical, flammable and dangerous goods at sea and land ports of the country.
The meeting has taken two decisions over the issue. It asked all the stakeholders to focus on how quickly flammable and dangerous goods can be cleared from the port yard, sources said.It also decided to relocate those items to private Inland Container Depots (ICD) instead of port shed. Importers need to get delivery of their imported goods within 30 days after the consignments are unloaded from ships at the port jetty.
If they fail to get delivery within 30 days, the port authorities send the import documents of those consignments to the customs authorities which give notice to the importer.
And if the importer does not get delivery of the goods within 15 days of issuing of the notice, the customs authorities can auction those off.
But, products and goods including hazardous remained undelivered year after year at the port yard posing a threat to the entire port, sources said.
Chattogram port authority said they hand over the auctionable and destroyable goods to the customs authority for auction and destroy timely.
Though the goods have been delivered to the customs authority in paper, some goods remain piled up in the port’s shed and yard for long.