Once the port is operational, it is expected to turn around the economy of the entire region and the nation. An area neglected for long will finally see its days of glory.
A brick road has already been built connecting the site with Patuakhali town. Like a magnet it is also drawing tourists from all over. In the afternoon the crowds are particularly heavy.
A terminal has been established in the project area. And a solar-powered electricity system is on. Transmission lines from the Rural Electrification Board (REB) have been set up. Work is on for the construction of the administrative building. The port authorities are building a lighthouse at Kauar Char. A four-lane highway is being built connecting the port with the national highway that goes all the way to the sea-resort town of Kuaghata at Rojpara.
On November 3, 2013 the Jatiya Sangsad (parliament) passed the Payera Sea Port Authority Act -2013. A fortnight later, on November 19, Prime Minster Sheikh Hasina, true to her words, officially inaugurated the physical work of Payera Sea Port. To begin with, 16 acres of land was acquired in the village of Tiakhali. Consequently, the people of the area feel that they would graduate from dependence on agriculture and fisheries to an industrial, or perhaps, post-industrial era.
Member of the Payera Port Authority (Harbor and Marine) Captain Sayeedur Rahman said “Work on the outer anchorage would start in mid– 2015. Work has been completed on assessing the depth of the maritime channels leading from sea to port. Most channels have a depth of seven to 15 meters”.
The official added “Unlike other ports in Bangladesh, navigability would not be tide-dependent. Because of high depth it would be navigable round the clock.”
Port sources said “Mother Vessels anchored in the outer anchorage could be loaded and unloaded here. The area would be converted to an exclusive economic zone also. A self-sufficient and modern naval base would be established here. The base would host naval commandoes, aviation, ships and submarine berthing facilities.
The 500-acre base would be named after Sher-e-Bangla A K Fazlul Huq. Abbreviated it would be called BNS Sher-e-Bangla.”
As the naval base would be centrally located it would be ideal for naval aviation which is necessary for proper maritime monitoring. Besides, it would be easier to provide logistical support from here to the ships plying the seas. In addition, the base would provide maritime security to the south including the Sunderbans. It would also be the epicenter for disaster preparedness.
The chief of the hydrographic division of Chittagong Port and chief of the Payera Port supervisory cell, Lt Commander Habib-ul-Alam said “Formal operation of the port would commence with unloading small vessels. It will create jobs in this forlorn area and change the economic landscape in a big way”.