The tender to appoint new berth operators for Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) has already started now. The CPA has already completed the tender of one General Cargo Berth (GCB) while the tender of 4 and 8 number GCB will be held on November 4 next. Besides, the tender of Container Cargo Berths (CCB) will be held after the tenders of GCB. But, many of berth operators cannot participate at the tender as the tender is holding with the critical conditions including last 5 years experience of handling cargoes at ports in Bangladesh.
Sources said, there are six berth operators which are handling the cargoes of Chittagong port since more than last one decade. The said companies which are handling GCB are A W Khan & Company, United Trading, Ruhul Amin & Brothers, Four Jwel Stevedoring Syndicate, Poncharag Udayan Sangsta and Cosmos Enterprise.
Sources said, CPA used to prepare the tender documents including its conditions and schedules, only the said six companies for GCB and six for CCB can participate at the tenders. Other companies cannot participate at the tender due to the conditions of CPA. In the mean time, the ministry has amended the conditions for participating at the tender. Earlier, there was three years experience of handling cargoes at Chittagong port for participating the tender to operate the berths while in the amended conditions include last five years experience of handling cargoes at any port of Bangladesh.
Enamul Karim, Director Traffic of CPA said, “the ministry has amended the conditions of tender. The operators who have five years experience of handling cargoes at any port of Bangladesh. Earlier, the operators need only three years experience.”
He said, “as per conditions of tender at least 30 operators can participate at the tender. Three operators of Mongla port, one operator of Pyra port can also participate at the tender in the current year.”
He said, “the ministry and CPA finalized the conditions of the tender. The operators, who can fulfill the condition, can participate at the tender.”
Sources said, there were 56 operators who operated the handling of containers and cargoes through the Dock Workers Board before one-eleven. But, during the one-eleven, the then government and management of CPA fixed up only six operators to operate cargoes and six for operate containers by dissolving the Dock Workers Board.
At that time, the then management divided the total 13 jetties of Chittagong port into 12 berths. Of these, six are container berths while rest six berths are cargo berths. The then management handed over the handling charge to 12 stevedoring companies as main operators and 28 companies as associate operators. Besides, then management also gave charge to 16 stevedoring companies for handling container and cargoes at the outer anchorage.
But, after the one eleven regime, the said six operators captured the handling of GCB port and six other captured Container Cargo Berths. Others cannot participate at the tenders due to critical condition including experience. As other companies could not handle the cargoes and containers after one-eleven, they have no experience in this regard. It may be mentioned that the other companies tried to participate at the tender to appoint new berth operators for Chittagong sea port. Of these, three companies sent letters in this regard to the CPA earlier to make the condition easier for every operator. The said three companies are ST Enterprise, M/S Sufi & Brothers and Nobi Dovash & Sons. ST Enterprise sent letter to CPA on July 7 last, M/S Sufi & Brothers sent letter on July 11 last and Nobi Dovash & Sons sent letter on July 14 last. But, in the present amendment of condition, the rest companies cannot participate at the tender like previous years.