Future Development Potentials of Chittagong Port in Bangladesh
Chittagong has got great potentials endowed with many possibilities. Surrounded by different styles of landscape pattern, hilly terrain, long sea beach and endless sea limit on the south-western boundary and situated on the bank on the karnafuli, Chittagong has most prosperous future if a proper and farsighted plan can be prepared keeping in view the need for future with the application of modern technology. The plan proposed thus will establish a firm base for prosperous Bangladesh which can become an international gateway for traders of 7 states of Eastern India, Nepal, Myanmar, Bhutan and south-western province of China. The proposed port will contribute greatly to enhance the life style and fate of the people of this region through attaining economic emancipation.
Through a series of research and studies by experts in the related fields it has been found apparent that through reclamation of land by constructing an embankment on the sea side from Patenga to Sitakund measuring approximately 25 miles along the coast line of the Bay of Bengal a modern sea port can be established. For providing backyard facilities for the port, vast land can be developed inside the same embankment. As a result of which, the existing industrial activities in the city may be upgraded and modernized compared to the present situation and can create facilities for setting up of new industries, factories and port related business activities in the region.
Besides this, another multipurpose embankment along the eastern bank of the Sandwip Island may be constructed to maintain the required depth in the “Sandwip Channel” for the ocean going vessels and ships. This will help develop a vast land on the eastern coast of the Sandwip Island carrying out dredging activities in the Channel and filling sand inside the embankment. With the implementation of this plan, jetties can also be constructed on both sides of the channel with adequate backyard facilities. An embankment can also be constructed all around the Sandwip Island and this can play a great role in protecting the proposed port and consequently protect the ships on anchorage during cyclone and storm surge disaster. On the other hand, if an embankment/dam is constructed on the north side of Sandwip Island linking Sitakund with sluice gates; hydroelectric power generation can be ensured and can be supplied in the Key installations of Chittagong Port City. Moreover, the embankment can also be used as a major transportation mode to connect Sandwip with Chittagong City which and play an important role in the expansion of port activities in the eastern bank of Sandwip Island.
Finally it is to be mentioned here that the average depth of the “Sandwip Channel” from Patenga to Sitakund is approximately 30 feet, which can provide favorable navigation and berthing facility for large ships and ocean going vessels as will. If port facility is developed on both banks of the channel, it will facilitate berthing and anchorage opportunity for at least 500 ocean going vessels at the same time in the same Channel.
Development specialists, policy makers, port users and related agencies should put their heads together and give appropriate thoughts to the above proposal. Besides, interested local investors as well as foreign investors and donor agencies from all over the world involved in the development activities in Bangladesh can seek opinion form the relevant experts in this perspective.
A. J. M Nasir Uddin
Mayor, Chittagong City Corporation