India plans to help Bangladesh build new deep-sea Port
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Bangladesh is likely to see an contract on India’s participation in the construction of a deep-sea port there. The Port, Payra, will be in Patuakhali district on the Bay of Bengal.
The Governments of Britain, Netherlands and China have also shown interest. Officials said a consortium involving different countries could be formed.
Currently, Bangladesh has two Ports. With close to 90% of the Maritime Trade being routed through Chittagong Port, its performance has suffered.
The 2nd port, called Mongla, handles the remaining trade.
The new Port being planned is located between these two. Commodities meant for India’s northeastern states like Tripura are routed through Chittagong and then transported via road.
According to the feasibility studies, USD 2 billion will be required to develop Payra Port. To determine India’s participation before Modi’s visit, a delegation of 3 people from the Shipping Ministry recently visited the country and the site.
A senior ministry official said that “The Government is keen to develop this port and a joint statement is going to be signed during the visit. The initial studies carried out have mentioned that the entire project will take close to a decade to complete.”
The desired water depth for the new Port is around 14 meters. For the dredging of the approach channel and the initial ancillary infrastructure, the Bangladeshi government has made provision of INR 800 crore.
“The Bangladesh Government could consider a consortium of countries with the required expertise. Economic viability would depend on the depth of the sea for the ships to berth. Recurring maintenance dredging might be required.”