The Chattogram Chamber president proposed forming a cell through public and private initiatives to ensure coordination among government agencies in implementation of the projects
- Development projects sent to DPP without opinions of people, experts
- Proposal to construct Marine Drive Road from Mirsarai to Cox's Bazar
- Zila Parishad asked to set up truck, bus terminals outside city
- Detailed feasibility study in 2021 to establish a port centred on Mirsarai Economic Zone
- Proposal to develop satellite cities to solve housing problem in Chattogram city
Development in Chattogram is not sustainable as there is a lack of coordination among different government agencies, said Nazmul Karim Chowdhury Sharun, director of the Chattogram Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Various development projects are forwarded to DPP without taking the views of the people and relevant experts, he stated at a discussion on development, industrialisation and future planning in Chattogram on Saturday.
The business leader proposed forming a cell through public and private initiatives to ensure coordination among government agencies in implementation of the projects.
Mahbubul Alam, president of the Chattogram Chamber, said traders want to know the exact timeframe for the implementation of the Chattogram Port Bay Terminal project.
There is no alternative to supplying quality gas, water, electricity and internet in Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Industrial City, Mahbubul Alam, who chaired the discussion also said.
Almas Shimul, additional managing director of GPH Ispat, said Chattogram is undervalued in terms of transportation of goods. There is no scope to transport more than 13 tonnes of freight here whereas many districts allow transportation of up to 30-40 tonnes.
"Transporting goods by rivers will reduce carrying cost by three times. If an inland river port had been built at Faujdarhat or Sitakunda to this end, traders would have benefited," he also said.
Renovation of non-functional sluice gates in the area, excavation of canals and ditches will ensure supply of industrial water here, Shimul added.
In his remarks, Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives Minister Tajul Islam said there is no integrated approach among the institutions involved in the development of Chattogram.
The Chattogram Chamber of Commerce and Industry can play a role in coordinating the work of the institutions in the overall development of the area, he added. The minister was the chief guest at the programme organized by Chattogram Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Helal Uddin Ahmed, senior secretary at the Ministry of Local Government, and Paban Chowdhury, Chairman of Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA), spoke as special guests on the occasion.
Minister Tajul Islam said Chattogram has been the gateway of Bangladesh's economy since time immemorial.
"Due to its geographical location, Chattogram has more potential for industry and trade than any other region. The government is giving importance to the issue of the Halda River so that the water supply to the Mirsarai Economic Zone does not harm fish breeding in the river."
Proposing the construction of a Marine Drive Road from Mirsarai to Cox's Bazar, the minister said its implementation will create huge potential for eco-tourism in the region.
The minister then directed the Chattogram City Corporation to take up a project for construction of foot over-bridges in the city.
He also instructed the Zila Parishad to set up truck and bus terminals outside the city.
Paban Chowdhury said Chattogram port alone is not capable enough to handle an increasing number of factories in Bangladesh.
"At least 10 more seaports need to be built. A detailed feasibility study will be conducted in 2021 at a cost of Tk72 crore for the construction of a port centred on Mirsarai Economic Zone," he said.
Responding to criticism over extraction of water from the Halda, he said such criticism needs to be based on logic and research reports rather than on emotion for the overall development of the country.
"We must protect the Halda and Karnaphuli as well as save the industry."
Regarding the demand of traders for an inland river port at Kumira for transporting goods by river, Helal Uddin Ahmed said the river port at Kumira in Chattogram is very important. This will reduce the cost of transporting goods as well as the pressure on the road.
Khorshed Alam Sujan, administrator of Chattogram City Corporation, said all the organisations that are using roads in Chattogram city should also cooperate in the development of roads.
"Separate roads should be constructed for the movement of heavy vehicles transporting goods. To solve the housing problem in the city, satellite cities need to be developed in different colonies."
Among others, Chattogram Development Authority (CDA) Chairman Zahirul Alam Dobhas, Chattogram Divisional Commissioner ABM Azad, Deputy Commissioner Ilias Hossain, Chattogram WASA Managing Director KM Fazlullah, Professor Manjurul Kibria of the zoology department of Chattogram University, Chittagong Chamber Director Ahid Siraj Swapan, Shahriar Zahan Rahat, Syed Mohammad Tanvir, Mahfuzul Haque Shah, Rauzan Upazila Chairman Ehsanul Haider Chowdhury Babul and other professionals and dignitaries also addressed the discussion.