The Ministry of Shipping has sought additional allocation of Tk 458 crore for the construction of Ashuganj Inland Container Terminal project due to increasing cost of five sectors.
The ministry has sent a revised project proposal titled ‘Establishment of Inland Container River Port at Ashuganj’ to the Planning Commission seeking additional allocation, a senior official of the Planning Ministry told The Business Post.
According to the revised proposal, the cost of the project is now estimated at Tk 1,751 crore which will be complete by December 2024.
According to the project proposal, the cost will increase in consultancy services, increase in cost of schedule rate changes, cost increase in port infrastructure facilities and jetty superstructure, piling, jetty fitting, cargo terminal infrastructure and other components and cargo handling equipment.
As per the previous estimation, the cost of the project was at Tk 1,293 crore. Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) will implement the project.
The ECNEC had approved the project in 2018 aiming to boost the trade activities with the neighbouring countries. The project was scheduled to be implemented between July 2018 and December 2021.
“If the project is implemented, it will be possible to transport containers from Chattogram, Mongla and other ports to different parts of the country and neighboring countries using inland waterways.
Container transportation will be easier. As a result, regional and sub-regional commercial opportunities will be created which will play a significant role in the country’s economic development,” said Mamun Al Rashid, Secretary at Planning Division of the Planning Commission.
The revised proposal has been sent for the executive committee of the national economic council (ECNEC) approval, he also said.
The project aims to facilitate transportation of goods containers through the river route as well as transportation of containers from the Chattogram, Mongla and other ports.
Ashuganj was declared as a river port in 2004. Ashuganj river port has been classified as a ‘Port of Call’ in line with the Inland Water Transport and Trade Protocol between Bangladesh and India. ‘Port of Call’ provides the facility of loading and unloading of goods of the river vessels of both the countries. It will be possible to transport around four lakh Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) of containers on this route every year as per the survey.