Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina formally inaugurated the operational activities of the third seaport of Bangladesh at Payra in Patuakhali today.
She inaugurated the seaport through video conferencing from the Gono Bhaban in Dhaka.
The Payra port started its experimental operations on August 1 by unloading stones for the Padma bridge project from the first ocean vessel MV Fortune Bird coming from China.
The stones were imported by Jalal Uddin Traders of Sylhet, Payra Port Authority (PPA) sources said.
Gulf Orient Seaways Ltd is the first shipping agent of the vessel.
The Payra seaport is on the west bank of Ramnabad channel in Kalapara upazila of Patuakhali.
The prime minister opened the work of the seaport on November 19, 2013. Parliament enacted the Payra Port Authority Act soon after.
Rezaul Kabir, secretary of the PPA, said the port would be fully ready by 2018.
UNB adds: From the same programme, Sheikh Hasina also inaugurated the construction works of a four-lane highway from Jatrabari intersection to Mawa, including Ikuria-Babubazar link, and upgradation of Pachhar-Bhanga highway with a separate service lane on both ways for slow-moving vehicles which is also known as Padma Bridge link road.
According to the Road Transport and Bridges Ministry, the Road Transport and Highways Department implemented the 7.20-km eight-lane highway project from Jatrabari-Kanchpur at a cost of Tk 131.99 crore.
Roads and Highways Department and the Special Works Organization (West) of Bangladesh Army will jointly implement the Padma Bridge Link Road project by April 2019 at an estimated cost of Tk 6252.28 crore.
The 55-kilometer highway will go through Dhaka, Munshiganj, Madaripur and Faridpur upazilas and it would have six flyovers, four railway overpasses, 15 underpasses and three interchanges.
This will be the country’s first such expressway without any traffic crossover, facilitating uninterrupted vehicular movement.