CHATTOGRAM, June 22: The construction work of Matarbari Deep Seaport is going on in full gear.
The deep seaport, first of its kind in Bangladesh and construction of which began nearly 17 months ago, will be built in two phases, officials said.
Work on the first phase is progressing quickly and is scheduled to be completed by 2026, said officials at the Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) which is implementing the Tk 177.75 billion (Tk 17,775 crore) project since November 16, 2020.
They also said that the Matarbari Deep Seaport of the CPA will be directly connected by train with the port city, Chittagong Port, Cox's Bazar town and other parts of the country.
For this a 26-kilometre-long railway track is being set up to bring the deep seaport under national railway network, they added.
When contacted, an official of the Bangladesh Railways (BR) said a feasibility study in this regard has already been completed.
He said out of the 26 kilometres long rail line, 11 kilometres will be elevated one.
Once completed, the planned 26 km railway track will connect the deep seaport with BR's Chattogram-Gumdum-Cox's Bazar Dual Gauge Double Line project, he said.
Talking with the FE, Abidur Rahman, Project Director (PD) of the Chattogram-Gumdum-Cox's Bazar Dual Gauge Double Line project, said the design of the project has also been completed.
He stated that the 11-km long rail line will be constructed as elevated expressways as per a design of the project to connect the deep seaport with the Chattogram-Gumdum-Cox's Bazar dual gauge double line railway track thus linking it with the national railway network.
Sources said, the landscape in Matarbari area of Cox's Bazar district's Maheshkhali upazila is wearing a new look as multiple development projects, including some fast-track mega projects, are being implemented there.
The scenario of Matarbari is being changed now as mega projects like Deep Sea Port is being constructed there, project officials and local people said.
Along with the Deep Sea Port, execution of some other related big schemes including the coal-fired Matarbari Power Station, the LNG Terminal, and the development of a highway are progressing in full gear now, they stated.
Sources said the under-construction port deep into the sea had been originally planned for Matarbari coal-fired power station. But later, the government decided to turn it into a full-fledged deep seaport to enhance operational capacity of the Chittagong Port.
Once implemented, it will be the first deep seaport in the country.
A CPA official said "The port is planned to reduce pressure on the Chittagong Port, the country's premier seaport. During the first stage, one 300 metres long multipurpose terminal and one 460 metres meter long container terminal will be constructed by 2026, he said.
Its navigation channel will be 350 metres long with a maximum permissible draught of 16 metres. Larger ships carrying containers worth 8,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) will be able to take berth, they informed.
The container terminal will be built on 18 hectares of land and have an annual capacity of handling 600,000 to 1.1 million TEUs. Later, the container terminal will be expanded to a total of 70 hectares. Ships with 1,850 metres length and having a carrying capacity of 2.8 million TEUs containers can take berth, he added.
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