Saturday, 29 January, 2022

Utilise Matarbari meaningfully

It is only common sense to make multi-purpose use of any facilities and resources for cutting down production costs, increasing potential benefits and getting more profit from the investments made for infrastructure build-ups. Therefore, the plans of the government to make multiple use of the Matarbari Deep Sea Port other than for the Matarbari Coal-Fired Power Plant is welcome news, as it will lower the cost of the power generated by the plant as well as increase utilisation of the port.

The Matarbari Power Plant and the Sea Port are interdependent. Though the deep sea port was made to cater for the needs of the power plant, not making greater use of the only deep sea port in the country for any other purposes will lower the return on the investments made. Thus, under the circumstances, it will not be profitable for the country in the long run not to utilise it for other import-export purposes.

On the other hand, greater utilisation of the port may help generate more income from the Matarbari project, which in turn can be translated into lowering the cost of the electricity produced at the plant, which in turn will lower the price of the electricity for the people. If the earnings made from the additional use of the port actually lowers the price of the electricity for the people, then the people will be ultimately benefiting from it.

But instead of transferring the total profit earned by using the port for multiple purposes to benefit the people directly by lowering the price of the electricity, the profit may also be shared among various stakeholders or reinvested in the projects themselves. Whatever the plans may be, experts would most likely advice on greater usage of the deep sea port to justify the ‘staggering’ investments made in it.

Let us not forget the old by getting the new. After all - ‘Old is Gold’. Our original port at Chattogram must not fall into disrepair due to the opening of the Matarbari Deep Sea Port. In fact, it would be wise to maintain the Chattogram Port as a backup, keeping it in good condition through constant dredging to prevent siltation. The existence of one must not negate the need for having the other, as both the ports could be useful for the country.