- Web Master
- April 29, 2022
The new port in Sittwe, constructed under the India-Myanmar Friendship Kaladan River Multipurpose Transport Project, now costs 40 percent more for berthing than other ports of Rakhine State.
As the new port runs under a foreign license, the Central Bank of Myanmar has increased the charge in accordance with the dollar prices, set by the Myanmar authorities, and hence a few domestic ships come to berth on it, said a local trader.
"As the port has a foreign license, its price is very high compared to other ports. So many ships avoid entering into it,” he added.
Due to the high berthing fees, only three coastal ships docked in the port from 20 September till date.
However, the port management is efficient and faster than other ports as it uses large machineries in handling the cargo ships.
According to local businessmen, Shwe Mingang port and a major jetty ports under the Myanmar port authorities are comparatively less.
"We want to use the new Sittwe port, but it’s costly for us. With the increase of cost, the prices of commodities in the region will go high and we don't prefer it. So the berth fees should be reasonable,” said a businessman.
He claimed that the Kalatan River Multi-development Project, which includes Sittwe Port, is geared at regional development while, in fact, it is not.
The new Sittwe port was opened on 9 May by the Myanmar-India government officials. The military council allowed the international and domestic cargo ships to dock at the port from 20 September.
The port was built by New Delhi with a cost of US$ 120 million and the construction work started in 2009.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed in 2018 by both the neighbouring countries over the Kaladan project for which New Delhi invested US$ 500 million.
The project is designed to transport goods from Sittwe to Paletwa in Chin State by Kaladan river and from Paletwa to the Mizoram border by road.
Currently, a 117-kilometer two-lane highway from Lawngtlai (Mizoram) to the Myanmar border is under construction. After completion of the road, the multi-purpose Kaladan project will be fully operational.
The traders of both the countries believe that the flow of goods in the entire zone will be increased after completion of the Kaladan project and it will benefit them tremendously.