Former Director-General of the Shipping Department and former member of Chattogram Port, Commodore (Retd) Zubair Ahmed said inexperienced officials have taken decisions against the better interests of the port.
"Chattogram Port lacks bold officers. Many deputized officials lack the relevant experience, and therefore, some of their decisions have run contrary to the interests of the port," he explained.
He was addressing a meeting of the Chattogram Port Development and Research Council at Chattogram City Corporation's KB Abdus Sattar Auditorium in the Andarkilla area of the port city on Saturday.
Zubair Ahmed, president of a newly formed committee of the Council, also said some corrupt government officials are hindering the development process, thereby tarnishing the image of the Council, and by extension, the government.
Therefore, the Chattogram Port Development and Research Council will continue supporting the Chattogram Port and the government, maintaining the highest standards of ethics in doing so, he added.
Zubair Ahmed hopes that the Council will provide suggestions to the port administration that are based on key research data.
According to speakers at the event, under the leadership of former Chattogram Mayor, the late ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury, port officials and residents of the port city had strongly resisted a bid by the Stevedoring Services of America (SSA) – an American company - to construct a private port in the estuary of Karnafuli River, thereby saving the Chattogram port.
Facing intense opposition and backlash, the project had been dropped, following a High Court order.
Speakers also alleged that since port officials had failed to convince the government in the criticality of the Chattogram port surplus fund for its development, a handsome amount of money had been diverted to the Finance Ministry and the Payra Port.
Former Member of Chattogram Port (Finance), Mosharraf Hossain; Freedom Fighter, Ibrahim Hossain Chowdhury Babul; Advocate Md Mahfuzur Rahman Khan; Engineer Abdus Sabur; Salimullah Khan; Ataur Rahman Khan; M Nasirul Haque; Kamal Chowdhury; Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury; Professor Idris Ali; Jasim Uddin Sabuj, and others also spoke.