Over 2,000 workers of Benapole Land Port have been jobless for nine days as the export-import activities through the port remained suspended since March 24 in a bid to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Besides, several hundred NGO workers who are dependent on the port and customs house here are going through a tough time due to the ongoing shutdown across the country.Traders find it convenient for exporting and importing goods through the land port due to better communications system with neighbouring India.
Around 400 trucks carrying goods from India enter Bangladesh while around 200 go to the neighbouring country every day.
Around 2,000 workers are engaged at the port. Besides, several hundred NGO workers work at the port and customs house to earn their livelihoods.
The government earns at least Tk 20 crore as revenue from the port each day. But the shutdown has halted the revenue flow and left the workers without any job.
Amir Hossain, C&F trader, said authorities concerned suspended the trade activities through the port since March 24 to curb the coronavirus. As a result, no truck enters or leaves the country carrying goods rendering workers jobless, he said.
Sajib Hasan, a worker, said they were earning enough to lead their life by working at the port. “But we’re now going through a trying time due to the suspension of loading and unloading of goods at the airport,” he said.Bangladesh has so far reported 51 confirmed cases of coronavirus.
Of them, 21 are currently under treatment while five have died and 25 others already made recovery.
Meanwhile, the global death toll from the coronavirus or COVID-19 has reached 42,151 as of Wednesday.
It has so far infected 858,669 people around the world, according to worldometer.