Dhaka, Wednesday   24 April 2019

Faridpur’s lone river port in limbo for lack of facilities

 Fridpur Correspondent

 Published: 01:49 PM, 27 November 2018   Updated: 01:49 PM, 27 November 2018

Faridpur River Port

Faridpur River Port

Faridpur River Port, the lone river port of the region, is unable to provide necessary services for lack of required infrastructures though it was announced a full-fledged one two years back. 

The authorities concerned have not yet been able to develop the necessary facilities for the river port, causing frustration among several thousand workers and small traders. 

Besides, poor navigability in absence of dredging and fall in the water level in the Padma River during the dry season made the river port unusable. 

When C&B Ghat of Faridpur district was declared a full-fledged river port two years ago, businessman, traders and workers had seen a ray hope that it would bring about a change in their lives and livelihoods. But, there has been no visible development in two years, said locals. 

Habibur Rahman, a coal, rod and cement trader, alleged that no permanent office or connecting road has been constructed yet for the river port due to the negligence of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA). 

He said only one pontoon is being used for loading and unloading of goods from vessels.

Md Din Islam, a vessel worker, said that goods-laden vessels have to wait in queues in the river for having only one pontoon, causing financial losses to the owners of cargoes and vessels, and traders.

Besides, small trawlers are used to carry goods to the port as big cargoes cannot enter it causing additional expenses to traders, Din Islam said.

Zafar Sheikh, a leader of port workers, said though the livelihoods of around 6,000 workers depend on the port, majority of them pass lazy days for not having work.

Nafizur Rahman Taposh, a representative of port leaseholders, said some 50 types of goods are being brought to the port every day from different ports of the country, including that of Chattogram and Narayanganj.

If the navigability problem is not resolved, the goods transportation will decrease which will ultimately bring down the revenue generation.

Md Siddiqur Rahman, senior vice-president of Faridpur Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the river port is very important for the businesspeople of the region, and demanded that the problems here be resolved immediately.

Selim Reza, a BIWTA port officer, said survey works have already been launched for restoring the navigability of the river through dredging. "It'll take several weeks to bring back the navigability," he said.

Works on a mega project taken for the development of the port will start within two-three months, he said. 

DailyBangladesh/Nishi