KHULNA: Mongla Port, the second largest sea harbor of the country, witnessed at least 970 foreign ships docking in the 2020-21 Fiscal Year breaking all previous records in its history, said an official.
The ship mostly contained car, coal, fertilizer cement clinker, LPG carrying vessels, ceramic materials, various raw materials and equipment of Ruppur nuclear plant and railway line project etc.In 2019-2020 FY, MPA witnessed at least 903 foreign ships docking while 912 in 2018-2019 FY, 784 in 2017-2018 FY and 623 in 2016-17 FY, reports BSS.
“The record touched a milestone in the yearly statistics in the last seven decades after the establishment of the port near the Bay of Bengal in 1950,” said deputy secretary of Mongla Port Authority (MPA) Md Makhruzzaman.
The port has been playing a vital role in the country's economic development since 2009 as some very important initiatives were taken by the then government, he said.
The port turned into a losing sea port in the years from 2001 to 2008 because of many problems. In February, 2007-2008 fiscal year, only seven foreign ships anchored at the port.
A total of thirteen development projects and seven ADB programmes were implemented from 2009 to 2020 involving Taka over 200-crore aiming to enhance the ability of Mongla Port, Makhruzzaman said.
The official, however, said the MPA has already ensured different facilities for the port users to get speedy and quality services. The facilities include capital dredging at the Pashur River, purchasing 42 containers and cargo handling machinery and setting up a modern channel at Pashur River to arrive and discharge foreign ships round the clock.Chairman of Mongla Port Authority Rear Admiral Mohammad Musa told BSS that the government has taken many initiatives to enhance the ability of Mongla Port.
“The MPA sees the record ship due to intervention and epoch-making planning of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, special direction of the shipping ministry, cooperation by Mongla Port users and hard work by the employees of the organization,” he said.
Number of foreign ships arriving is increasing day by day as industrialization boosted up centering Mongla Port and Rampal Power Plant. Investors are importing different production materials like machineries, cement clinkers, cars, fertilizers and equipment for industrialization.
The MPA has earned a profit of Taka 226 crore in 2016-17 FY while Taka 276 crore in 2017-18 FY, Taka 329 crore in 2018-19, Taka 338 crore in 2019-20 FY, and Taka 340 crore in 2020-21 FY, he said.
In 2007-08 FY, a total of 7.5 lac ton cargos were handled at the port. It has increased at least 119.45 lac tons in the 2020-21 FY, he said, adding that dredging was completed at Rampal Power Plant area, Food Silo area and Outer berth in the Pashur River.
A total of 43,959 TUH containers were handled and at least 14,474 cars were unloaded in the 2020-21FY, he added.
In line with the ‘Vision-2021’ envisaged by the government, all the projects are being implemented to attract foreign companies to operate in economic zones as well as ensure balanced development of every region of the country.