Chittagong port, the busiest seaport on the coastline of the Bay of Bengal, is suffering from massive container gridlock amid the spread of novel coronavirus in the country.
"It is everyone's responsibility to forget about their own personal gains and work together to keep the port active," Chattogram Divisional Commissioner ABM Azad said during a coordination meeting held on Tuesday morning at the city's circuit house to mitigate container gridlock on the port
"This is the heart of the country's economy," he added.
Chairman of the Chittagong Port Authority Sheikh Abul Kalam Azad said container delivery at the port has stopped due to the coronavirus situation in the country.
"The country will face a massive economic disaster if the port shuts down."
Mentioning that the issues leading to the container gridlock have already been identified, he said the issues could be resolved within four days if everyone works together.
Speaking at the meeting, Chattogram Custom House Commissioner Md Fakhrul Alam said, "We have kept the custom house office open and are continuing to tax all items except some commercial ones. If the importers release their products from the port then the gridlock will reduce significantly."
He also said that opening hours of the banks involved with the taxation process had to be extended to resolve the gridlock.
Participants at the meeting also said the gridlock would reduce and transportation of products would resume if steps suggested by the port authority are implemented and stakeholder companies involved with the port continue their activities.
Among others, Chattogram City Corporation Mayor AJM Nasir Uddin and Bangladesh Shipping Agent Association President Ahsanul Chowdhury also spoke at the meeting.