|Studio Master:||B. Sarma, Nujaba Binte Kabir, Muna Rashid, Riju Sarker, Ayasha Siddiqua|
|University:||Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology ( AUST)|
Benapole Port, the largest land port of entry in Bangladesh, located on Bangladesh- India border in Jessore. It handles more than 80% of cross border trade with India owing to its proximity to West Bengal. About 90% of the imported Indian goods enter Bangladesh through this port.
Average 2000 passengers and 600-700 trucks of goods are passed through this point everyday but it was never organized in orderly and systematic way. Moreover Calcutta is connected with Dhaka by road through Benapole. So maximum tourists use this port as their entry and exit point for India.
There is an old railway line in the south of the site. After the Indo-Pak war in 1965, the railway connection between India and Bangladesh through Benapole was permanently shut down. Very recently, Bangladesh and India are set to reopen this defunct transborder rail route. If the old rail connectivity can be restored and reopened, including this sealed rail link, it will boost subregional trade and tourism between these two neighbouring countries. Considering this, there is a need to upgrade the existing land port with multimodal ( rail and bus) passenger and cargo terminal facilities.
For designing a land port, one of the key challenges is to resolve the circulation efficiently to maneuver the cross-border traffic and cargo. Hence, the main consideration was to design the circulation with separate lanes and loops for smooth operation of the traffic. In the design proposal, train , bus and cargo are handled separately via individual terminals and entry/exist points.
It is also fundamental to incorporate the passive and active security features necessary to prevent all types of illegal entries through the port. However, instead of creating a “fortress,” the proposal rather impart confidence and respect by welcoming travelers entering Bangladesh without compromising necessary inspections and security issues. The lofty space and open layout of the terminal building makes it easy for visual surveillance and crowd management.
Hence, the project has the potential to become a landmark establishment by promoting bilateral trade between Bangladesh and India. Nevertheless, up-scaling of the Benapole Land Port will improve border protection by minimizing security breaches and illegal entries through this international border. Thus either as a goods or tourists exchange point, Benapole port has paramount importance.
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