Vegetables prices soar amid transport strike

Staff Correspondent | Published: 00:00, Oct 30,2018

 
 

A vegetables vendor waits for customers at a shop at a kitchen market in Dhaka. The prices of vegetables in both wholesale and retail markets increased excessively in the city due to supply shortage as a two-day transport strike disrupted the supply chain. — New Age photo

The prices of vegetables in both wholesale and retail markets increased excessively in the city due to supply shortage as a two-day transport strike disrupted the supply chain.
Traders said that the supply of vegetables in the city remained stalled for the last two days as they could not transport their products after transport workers barricading roads stopped vehicles from entering the city.
Due to supply shortage, the prices of vegetables witnessed an unusual hike while in some cases the prices of items almost doubled in the retail market.
Prices of green chilli increased by Tk 50-70 a kilogram to Tk 100-140 a kg in wholesale market, while the retail price of the item increased by Tk 100-120 a kg and was selling at Tk 180-200 a kg on Monday.
The prices of bottle gourd almost doubled and the item was selling at Tk 60-80 a piece, while bitter gourd increased by Tk 20 a kg and was selling at Tk 60-80 a kg and papaya increased by Tk 10 a kg and was selling at Tk 30-35 a kg.
‘Prices of all the vegetables are on the rise due to transport strike. Everyday 40-50 trucks laden with vegetables reach Karwan Bazar, whereas today we have found three to four trucks of vegetables in the market,’ Md Abdur Rashid, a wholesaler at Karwan Bazar, told New Age on Monday.
He said that very little quantity of vegetables came into the market and they were sold at exorbitant prices.
According to Abdur Rashid, wholesale prices of papaya increased by Tk 4-5 a kg and it was sold at Tk 15 a kg, while the price of bottle gourd increased by Tk 20 a piece in the wholesale market.
‘Vegetables are available in the country and our traders are also ready to send the items to Dhaka, but truck drivers are in fear that they would be attacked by the transport workers who went on strike,’ he said.
Abdur Rahman, a wholesale trader of green chilli at Karwan Bazar, said that truck drivers were not willing to transport products due to fear of attack and the supply of even the most common items drastically dwindled in the market.
‘Although few truckers agreed to transport products, they charged fare three times higher than the normal rate,’ he said.
‘Our business almost remained stuck for the last two days as buyers are not coming to the market due to lack of transportation. If the situation continues, supply chain of essential commodities will be affected heavily,’ said Md Golam Mowla, secretary general of Moulvi Bazar Babosayee Samity.
He requested the transport workers to withdraw the strike and said the newly passed road transport act is a timely move and everyone should accept it.
‘It would not be fare if one wants a license to kill people on roads,’ he added.
Bangladesh Road Transport Workers Federation is observing a 48-hour countrywide work abstention from Saturday demanding changes to the newly enacted Road Transport Act, 2018.

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