CHATTOGRAM: Businesspeople in Chattogram on Sunday gave an ultimatum of seven days for stopping the weighing scales on Dhaka-Chattogram highway.
They also threatened to enforce tougher movement like strike keeping goods-laden vehicles off the road and shutting down the country’s largest wholesale markets in Khatunganj and Chaktai if their demands are not met.The business leaders issued the threat from a human chain and rally organised to press home their demand in city’s Anderkilla and Terri Bazar areas.
A total of 30 business organisations and industrial groups including Khatunganj Trade and Industries Association, Chattogram Dal Mill Bebsayee Samity, Bangladesh Cement Iron And Steel Merchant Association, Rice Mill Malik Samity, Khatunganj Chini O Bhojjo Tel Bebosayee Samity and Chattogram Boiddutik Sanranjam Bebsayee Group took part in the protest programme keeping their business firms shut for two hours in the morning.
They later took position in front of Chattogram City Corporation and submitted a memorandum to the Mayor AJM Nasir Uddin. The traders said that there are two weigh-scales at Daudkandi and Borodarogar Hat on Dhaka-Chattogram highway while there is no such scale on other highways of the country.
Earlier, the businesspeople could carry some 20 to 30 tonnes of goods on a vehicle, but now they only can carry 13 tonnes due to the weigh-scale. The vehicles have to pay fines for overweight at the scales, they said.
The situation is resulting in an increase of the transportation cost while the wholesalers are losing interest due to the increase in cost of doing business.
While addressing the rally after submitting the memorandum, Khatunganj Trade and Industries Association General Secretary Sagir Ahmed said traders of Chattogram have been facing different discriminations compared to traders from other parts of the country.The situation resulted in an imbalanced commercial condition that causes financial loss to the traders of Chattogram, he observed. He said all the business firms in the Khatunganj will be shut and plying of goods-laden vehicle will be stopped if the weigh scales are not stopped by next seven days.
The agitating traders also alleged that traders from other parts of the country have stopped buying products from Chattogram due to increased cost for the weigh-scale.