Vol. 5 Num 926 Sat. January 06, 2007  

Sonamasjid land port paralysed for 10 days

Activities at Sonamasjid land port have remained halted for 10 days following a row between traders and port management.

More than 1,500 trucks carrying goods have also been stranded on both the sides of Indo-Bangla border at Sonamasjid.

Port sources said the government has already incurred over Tk five crore revenue loss because of the impasse that began on December 27.

The deadlock at the second largest land port in the country started when traders stopped activities, alleging Panama Port Link Limited, a private company that operates the port, is collecting higher service charges.

However, several rounds of meetings between the traders and Panama Port Link officials have failed to break the deadlock. Perishable goods, mostly fruits, on the trucks are getting rotten.

C&F Agent Association leader Ruhul Amin said Panama Link is collecting the service charges that are much higher than those at Benapol land port, the largest land port in the country.

Panama Port Link Director Ashraful Alam Rashid said, "We are collecting the charges as fixed by the government."

If the traders have any complaints regarding the amount of service charges, they can contact the finance ministry, he added.

Panama Port Link started its operations on November 23 last year.