Dhaka – Bangladesh has been mulling improvement of three land ports to expedite regional trade and economic activities, especially with neighbouring India, a senior minister said on Wednesday.
Schemes have been taken to improve Sheula, Thegamukh and Bhomra land ports as their development would play an important role in expansion of bilateral trade between Bangladesh and India, Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan said.
The minister was speaking at a daylong workshop on an environmental and social study on the proposed interlinking project for development of Sheula, Thegamukh and Bhomra land ports.
The session was presided over by Bangladesh Land Port Authority Chairman Tapan Kumar Chakravarty. Shipping Ministry Additional Secretary M Rafiqul Islam, Land Port Authority Member Meshkat Ahmed Chowdhury and architect Iqbal Habib also spoke at the workshop held in Dhaka.
Sheula in Sylhet, Thegamukh in Rangamati and Bhomra in Satkhira would be developed under Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) Interlinking Project, the workshop was told.
With financial assistance from World Bank, a Chinese and an Indian firms conducted study to access environmental and social impacts of the project. The draft report of the study was presented in the technical session of the workshop. according to a report by state-run Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha.
There will be a very little negative impact of the development project for the three land ports. Rather, economic activities will expand further in the port areas following implementation of this project, according to the report.
Enhancement of facilities at Bhomra land port will reduce export-import costs, it added.
The minister said the government has undertaken projects for development of ports to increase trade and business and export earnings.
He said there were only 12 land ports in the country when the Awami League government assumed office in 2009, of which, only two were in operation.
Bangladesh has now 23 land ports, he said, adding that infrastructures of land ports are being developed to enhance economic activities.