'All business activities at Khatunganj will remain suspended if the weighing scale is not removed within seven days'
The traders of Chittagong threatened to go on an indefinite strike if the Load Control Station (weighing scale) at Boro Darogahat area in Sitakunda of Dhaka-Chittagong highway is not removed.
The traders of Chaktai-Khatunganj business hub of Chittagong formed a human chain and held a rally to press their demands home on Sunday.
Later, they took to the streets on the premises of Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) and submitted a memorandum to Mayor AJM Nasir Uddin.
The traders said they would be compelled to suspend trading activities at Chaktai-Khatunganj wholesale market and stop plying vehicles laden with goods if their demand is not fulfilled within seven days.
There is already a weighing scale at Daudkandi. But unlike other highways of the country, another weighing scale has been set up at Boro Darogahat area on Dhaka-Chittagong highway.
Earlier, the traders could carry 20-30 tons of goods and now they cannot carry more than 13 tons of goods due to the new weighing scale, alleged the aggrieved traders.
The restriction imposed on carrying more than 13 tons of goods has increased the transport cost. The additional cost is having an adverse impact on the consumer market, the traders said.
A total of 27 organizations jointly submitted the memorandum to the CCC mayor.
Syed Sagir Ahmed, general secretary of Khatunganj Trade and Industries Association said the traders are facing discrimination compared to other areas of the country, which is resulting in huge losses for the Chittagong traders.
“All business activities at Khatunganj will remain suspended if the weighing scale is not removed within seven days,” demanded the trade body leader.
Sufiur Rahman, organizing secretary of Inter-District Truck and Covered Van Owners’ Association said there is a discrepancy in weight at the two weighing scales at Boro Darogahat and Daudkandi areas. The traders have to pay a huge amount of money as fine at the weighing scale.
The CCC mayor AJM Nasir Uddin assured the traders that he would talk to the Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader over the issue.