A section of businesspeople in Chittagong on Sunday demanded permanent shut-down of two axle-load control stations on Dhaka-Chittagong Highway to end what they called discrimination against them in the name of weighing goods-laden vehicle.
From a human chain, they also alleged that the weighing scales in Boro Dargarhat area and Daudkandi area of Comilla on the highway increased transport costs, goods price and demurrage of businesspeople.
They submitted a memorandum to Chittagong city mayor AJM Nasir Uddin, giving a week to meet their demand.
Khatunganj Trade and Industries Association formed the human chain in front of the CCC building with the participation of hundreds of traders from the city’s Khatunganj, Asadganj, Teribazar and Majhirghat areas who shut down depots and shops.
The association general secretary, Syed Sagir Ahmed, told New Age that either the government would set up the weigh scales in all other districts or they must close these down in Chittagong.
He alleged that an empty two-axle or six-wheeler vehicle weighs 9-9.5 tonnes while the government allowed total 22 tonnes of goods in these vehicles.
As a result the businesspeople were able to send only 13 tonnes of goods in two-axle vehicles to other districts which was totally illogical.
Syed alleged that the traders in Chittagong paid more taxes but the authorities were discriminating against them.
Earlier, transport costs for 20- 25 tonnes of goods and 13 tonnes were same. Ultimately, due to huge transport cost, the prices of all goods increased by Tk 3-4 per kg.
Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Mahbubul Alam alleged that the weighing scales pushed up transport goods of different commodities.
On Saturday, he sent a letter to road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader while the minister assured them that they would reconsider their demand, said Mahbubul.
The city mayor said that he would talk to the minister and deputy commissioner of Chittagong for withdrawal of the weighing scale from Dhaka-Chittagong highway.
On May 19, transport workers vandalised an axle-load station in Sitakunda and blocked the highway for about four hours protesting at an alleged assault on a truck driver by the station staff.
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