Moriarty wants radiation detectors for Ctg port
Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Staff Reporter

The US has asked Chittagong Port Authority to install container scanners and radiation detectors immediately to ensure safe transportation of goods through the port, an official said Monday.

US ambassador James F Moriarty also promised that his country would supply and help install the radiation detection equipment at the port, CPA chairman Commodore Muhammed Farooque said.

After a 45-minute meeting with the ambassador, the CPA chairman told reporters that they had discussed port activities.

Farooque said the authorities had taken up scanner and radiation detection equipment projects in cooperation with the US, but Monday's meeting was meant to fast-track their implementation.

Farooque said the container scanner and radiation detectors would save time, in addition to ensuring safety, to deliver goods bound for the US and European ports.

"It now takes up to eight days to complete scanning and other security tasks at other ports," he said.

If the equipment is installed at the Chittagong port, both time and money will be saved and transport of nuclear arms and radio-active objects will be prevented, Farooque added.

Radiation detectors have been installed at many international ports around the world under the Mega Port Initiatives Project and International Ship and Port Facilities Security Code known as ISPS code.

ISPS code is a set of measures to enhance the security of ships and port facilities, developed in response to the perceived threats to ships and port facilities in the wake of the 9/11 attacks on the US.

Countries signing up for the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea known as SOLAS are legally obliged to comply with the ISPS code and to submit information to the International Maritime Organisation.

The ambassador assured the CPA chairman that the USA would continue training Bangladesh coast guards to prevent theft and robbery at ports and outer anchorage.

The CPA chairman said the US ambassador had also discussed welfare of port workers.

Moriarty told reporters that he had a fruitful meeting with the CPA chairman and expressed satisfaction over progress in port development activities.

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