| Six foreign firms have been shortlisted for being appointed as consultants for the proposed deep sea-port at Sonadia in Cox's Bazar. The firms belong to the USA, Japan, Korea, China, India and France.|
The shipping minister, Shahjahan Khan, told The Independent that the financial offer for this purpose will be invited very soon.
The draft deep sea-port auhtority act has been finalised. After being approved by the cabinet, the draft act will have to be passed by Parliament,” he added.
The terms of reference (TOR) for the appointment of consulting firms to prepare detailed design and drawing of the deep sea-port has been finalised.
It includes design construction, design activity, lay-out and proposed essential facilities, design criteria, detailed engineering design, channel maintenance requirement, contractor prequalification, tender evaluation, land acquisition plan and resettlement, environmental impact and contract supervision.
The final TOR is expected to be submitted in the next month for appointment of the consultants. With recommendations of the consulting firms, the ministry will constitute a project committee to implement the giant project.
Earlier, a high-power meeting was held to review and finalise the technical and economic study report on the construction of the sea-port.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to lay the foundation stone of the port in December this year.
The deep sea-port, visualised as a regional hub, will facilitate maritime trade with two provinces of China, seven states of north-eastern India and West Bengal, in addition to Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar. The cabinet has approved the work areas and its complete design.
The work areas include construction of the port and jetties, additional channel, specific places for import and export, road and rail communication, linking with internal river ports, transit area, township, helipad, safer places during disasters and construction of gas and power plants.
Besides, the issues of land acquisition and rehabilitation have been included in the work areas of the seaport.
The shipping ministry has taken up the deep sea-port construction as a priority project to develop the entire region as a business hub.
This port will play a major role in keeping the country's economy vibrant.
The first phase will be completed by 2020 in private-public partnerships.
Funds would be raised through bonds and equity from share markets and lending from foreign donors.
As many as 30 per cent of the expenditure will be met by the Chittagong Port Authority.
With the construction of the deep sea port, Bangladesh's coast will turn into a top global cargo hub, working as a hinterland for a stretch of a land including southern China, eastern India, landlocked Nepal and Bhutan and part of Myanmar.