CHITTAGONG, April 24 (BDNEWS): The Chittagong Port handled a record 27.998 million tonnes of goods in the fiscal year of 2004-05.
The port also handled about 0.75 million units of containers and 1,916 vessels during the same period, Chairman of the Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) AMM Shahadat Hossain told reporters at a press conference held Monday marking the 119th anniversary of its formal launching.
He said the revenue surplus of the port increased to Tk 3.31 billion (331 crore) from Tk 1.57 billion in just two years. The expenditure also declined to Tk 3.20 billion from Tk 3.73 billion, he added.
The CPA chairman avoided questions on alleged corruption, dispute between the Shipping Ministry and the city mayor over the New Mooring Container Terminal (NCT) issue and sluggishness in development projects, but claimed that there was no labour unrest in the port over the past few years.
"The operation of the port had not been disrupted for even an hour in the past few years," Shahadat Hossain said, however admitting some stray incidents involving the port.
The operation and management of the under-construction NCT now depends on the government's policy decision and the CPA is waiting a decision in this regard, he noted.
The CPA chairman said the authorities have undertaken various projects for developing the port as an international standard facility through improving its handling capacity.
Marine drive with capital dredging in the river Karnaphuli from Shah Amanat Bridge to Sadarghat, computerisation of the port activities and introduction of the ISPS code as prescribed by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) are among the projects.
The CPA chairman said all documentations for container clearance done earlier at different points have now been brought at one point.
CPA's other ongoing projects include Chittagong Port Trade Facilitation Project, Port Efficiency Improvement Plan, and construction of a river-based Inland Container Terminal at Pangaon.