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Bangladesh: Ports set for a boost with modern mobile scannersTuesday, February 10, 2015 > 10:44:26
Six sea and land ports are set to get a big boost as the government has planned to procure as many modern mobile scanners for checking imported goods as well as ready-for-shipment cargos, officials said Saturday.
Shipping Ministry officials said they will purchase six MT-1213LT-model scanners for Mongla and Paira seaports, and Benapole, Bhomra, Burimari and Akhaura land ports.
Currently, the seaports and land ports are under-equipped, which affects foreign trade and creates conduits for false declaration on products during export and import.
The officials said the scanners would enhance the capacity of the port authorities and the customs, resulting in checking any fraud in foreign trade.
"We need Tk 2.06 billion worth of funds. We are finding out concessional loans from some foreign development partners. We are hopeful of getting the funds soon to go for purchasing the mobile scanners," said one official.
He said they had already sent a preliminary development-project proposal (PDPP) to the Planning Commission for getting endorsement on the scheme and the Economic Relations Division being requested to search the funds.
Officials and businesspeople say lack of adequate scanners is otherwise delaying the loading and unloading of imports and exports at the seaports and land ports. Added to this, corruption in the foreign trade, false declaration and smuggling of the products is taking place.
They hope the scanners will not only help raise revenue income of the government but also check corruption too.
The Shipping Ministry official said the proposed six mobile scanners will detect the products brought in Bangladesh and being shipped to other countries.
MT-1213LT scanner is an innovative mobile X-ray inspection system that can provide excellent screening features such as organic and inorganic material discrimination, fast-scan and radioactivity monitoring.
The technical specifications of the scanners show that MT Series combines elegant design and modern appearance with flexible maneuverability and rapid deployment. MT Series adopts a linear accelerator, ranging from 4MeV to 6MeV (or 6/3MeV).
This scanner can be driven independently during site-transfer transportation and be deployed for use within 15 minutes.
It can provide flexible scanning heights, offset scanning angle and various scanning modes such as drive-through (DT) mode for the best operational mobility and efficiency.
Officials said the government in March 2009 had procured four such MT-series scanners from NUCTECH China which are now under operation in different ports.
"We need to make the land ports and the struggling Mongla Port vibrant in handling goods smoothly for foreign trade," he said.
Bangladesh Ports Authority officials said presently Bangladesh has two seaports and 20 land ports in operation. Another one, the Paira seaport in Patuakhali, is going to be set up soon.
Considering 2007-2008 as base year, import-export trade through land routes increased 55 per cent and 67 per cent respectively in the financial year 2012-13, Bangladesh Land Port Authority data showed.