Export and import through key land ports — Benapole and Burimari —have improved a lot and new jobs have been created there after the ports went through major infrastructural development.
Implementation of ‘SASEC Road Connectivity Project: Improvement of Benapole and Burimari Land Port” project played the key role in improving port activities which were much hectic earlier.
A project impact assessment report of the Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Division (IMED) finds the positive changes brought about by a Tk 1.51 billion development project.
“We’ve done an impact assessment to the project through which we’ve tried to find out some positive outcomes of the finished project alongside the flaws,” said IMED Secretary Pradip Ranjan Chakroborty.
Although goods-laden trucks had to face traffic gridlock of 2-3 hours at the port entry and exit roads, these trucks now can enter or exit the ports in less than one hour, according to the IMED’s assessment report.
At the same time, goods unloading time has dropped to 2-3 hours from 3-4 hours as the number of skilled labourers and C&F workers has increased on completion of the project.
Under the scheme, 118,234 sqm RCC pavement has been erected at Benapole port and 127,066 sqm RCC pavement at Burimari port.
The export and import have increased at the ports because of the enhanced capacity of the ports due to the infrastructure development work.
The volume of export and import has shot up by 25 percent compared to the period prior to the development work, finds IMED.
At the same time, income of Benapole port surged to Tk 574.8 million in 2019-20 fiscal year which was much lower at Tk 262.9 million in 2011-12 fiscal year. The income of Burimari port has increased as well.
Alongside increased business activities, the project implementation has created some positive social impacts as new jobs have been created in and around the port areas.
In addition, the project has increased income of local people, curtailed poverty rate in the areas alongside improving socioeconomic situation and environment.
The three-year project ended in 2019 at a total cost of Tk 1.51 billion although it was supposed to be complete by 2016. Its estimated cost was Tk 1.68 billion, which was later revised downward to nearly Tk 1.57 billion. The final cost was even lower than the revised cost.
IMED, however, observed that the project has not kept any budget for infrastructure maintenance and repair which is against sustainability of the project.
It recommended that the government can allocate necessary money from the revenue budget to properly maintain the infrastructures. It also put emphasis on regular cleaning of the drainage system to avoid inundation of the port areas.