The 71st Port Day of the Mongla Port Authority was observed on December 01, 2021. Mongla Port is located close to the Sundarbans. The port was established on December 01, 1950. Its activities started on December 11 of the same year following anchorage of a British commercial ship named “The City of Leons” at Joymonirgol of the Pasur River. As per the Port of Chalna Authority Act of 1987, the Chalna Port Authority was established which was later turned into the Mongla Port Authority.
Being the second sea port of Bangladesh, this port has been playing a major role in the overall economic development of the country’s southern and south-western region as well as the entire country. During a period from 2001 to 2008, the port became a losing concern due to multifarious adversities. In the month of February of the past 2007-2008 fiscal year, seven ships arrived here while during the entire fiscal year, 95 ships anchored here. During 2004-2005 fiscal year, the port incurred a loss of Tk 11 crores.
Like every year, this year also, the Mongla Port building and the areas adjacent to Khulna Port were illuminated on the occasion of the Port Day. At 12:01 midnight, all domestic and foreign ships that were anchored at the port whistled at a time. Prayers were offered at all mosques located at Mongla Port seeking prosperity of the port. At 10:00 next morning, the opening ceremony of the founding anniversary of the port began by releasing pigeons and baloons. It was followed by a colourful rally.
Later, the Secretary of the Ministry of Shipping, Jonab Mejbah Uddin Chowdhury, inaugurated the day’s programme by cutting a cake as the Chief Guest. At the outset, a documentary based on development of the port was displayed. Following Holy Qur’an Telwat and reading from the Geeta and the Bible, the Mongla Port Authority Chairman and President of the function, Rear Admiral Mohammad Musa, delivered the Welcome Address of a discussion meeting. During his speech, he stated that once a losing concern, Mongla Port has now turned into a profitable one following the incumbent Prime Minister’s ascension to power who had undertaken different development projects. As to why, Mongla Port has created a new record following anchorage of a large number of ships. Because of the wisdom of the Premier, Mongla Port is going to emerge as an international port in near future.
While addressing as the Chief Guest, Shipping Secretary Mohammad Mejbah Uddin Chowdhury said, “Because of good grace of the incumbent government, Mongla Port has been turned into a profitable concern. The trend will continue in future and Mongla Port will eventually be established as one of the important global ports.”
Development of Mongla Port:
In December, 2017, as many as 87 commercial ships arrived at the port in a month. In February, 2019, a total of 100 ships anchored at the port. The port has created a record in December, 2020 when 117 ships arrived here.
Ongoing projects include:
1) Introducing Vessel Traffic Management and Information System (VTMIS)
2) Setting up surface water treatment plant
3) Procuring crucial equipment for Mongla Port
4) Dredging inner bar of Pashur Channel
5) Modern waste and oil extraction management at Mongla port.
6) Procuring auxiliary vessels for Mongla Port.
7) Strategic Master Plan for Mongla Port (self-financed).
8) Construction of 2 incomplete jetties of Mongla Port (via PPP).
It is mentionable that most of the projects are about to be completed. Once the projects are completed, the capacity of Mongla Port will be further increased.
Future projects include:
1) Constructing multi-purpose jetty at Joymonirgol
2) Constructing car parking yard at Joymonirgol
3) Constructing floating jetty at Akram Point
4) Development and extension of pilot station at Hiron Point and constructing building for lighthouse attendants at Jafford Point
5) Taking river management activities
6) Setting up a modern light tower
7) Constructing helipad with helicopter and other facilities
8) Collection of auxiliary vessels (2nd phase)
9) Collection of auxiliary vessels (3rd phase)
10) Collection of high capacity rescue vessels
11) Collection of car career
12) Developing container, coal and LNG handling facility at Joymonirgol and a floating jetty at Harbaria
13) Procurement of oil spill vessel
14) Construction of water treatment plant (2nd phase)
15) Construction of container terminal at Joymonirgol (2nd phase)
16) Collection of navigational aids.
17) Construction of port centered city with mega shopping complex.
18) Dredging Pashur Channel to achieve navigability
19) VTMIS expansion.
Current vision and mission of the port:
Vision: Construction of efficient, safe and environment friendly modern port.
• Expansion and modernization of port infrastructure.
• Increasing and maintaining the navigability of 145 km channel.
• Expansion of cargo and container storage facilities.
• Moderning waste management system
• Increasing efficiency in handling cargo and container
• Ensuring security
• Recruiting skilled manpower
The writer is Deputy Secretary, Mongla Port Authority, Mongla, Bagerhat
Translated by Z A M Khairuzzaman