Dhaka: The Bangladesh government has dropped the plan of developing a deep-sea port at Sonadia island in which China had keen interest in investing, said media reports.
The Economic Times reported that Dhaka has instead approached Japan to develop a deep-sea port in Matarbari by 2025. A port at Matarbari, which is 25 km from Sonadia, will provide about 13 m of depth for deep-draft ships.
Dhaka’s decision to drop the Sonadia port plan follows a study that found that a port could harm biodiversity to a large extent, Bangladeshi officials told the Indian newspaper.
The Sonadia Deep Sea Port Authority Act 2012 has been recently annulled.
When Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had visited China in 2014, the two sides had agreed to sign a framework agreement on the deep-sea port which would entail an investment of $14 billion, but the signing did not take place as Bangladesh backtracked on it at the last moment.
India remains concerned over the building up of strategic assets like ports and airports in its immediate neighbourhood by China.
The idea of a deep-sea port at Sonadia was first conceived in 2006. China had agreed to construct the port as well as provide loans to finance the project, The Economic Times reported.
- Pakistan to stay on FATF grey list till February 2021
- 5G: Sweden bans use of Huawei, ZTE equipment
- Kidnapping of IGP Sindh, arrest of Mohammad Safdar Awan might lead to Imran Khan's Watergate Scandal: Activist
- Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir (PoJK) witnesses demonstrations on Black Day
- Pakistan: Karachi explosion leaves five people dead