The daily trade volume in the country’s largest wholesale trading hub -Khatunganj, Chaktai and Asadganj - in Chattogram has come down to merely one-third, as the low-lying areas have remained waterlogged for the past one week.
As per an account of the Katunganj Trade and Industries Association (KTIA), commodities worth about only Tk600 crore are currently being traded daily in the market, although the usual trade value is some Tk1,800 crore per day.
Different types of goods were damaged as tidal and rainwater entered the ground floors of warehouses and shops. Moreover, the wholesale market is losing buyers for the incessant rain, said the association leaders.
The commodity hub houses about 3,000 businesses and more than 5,000 warehouses.
“As Khatungonj is a low-lying area, most of its roads, warehouses and shops have gone under water. The buying and selling remain stalled for the past one week. The loading and unloading at warehouses also remain suspended,” said KTIA Secretary Syed Chhogir Ahmed.
Jashim Uddin, owner of Mohammadia Banijyalay in Khatungonj, said, “Few buyers are coming here as goods-laden vehicles cannot move on waterlogged roads. Businessmen who deal with perishable goods like onions and garlic are passing a hard time, as their goods are getting damaged every moment.”
Balay Kumar Poddar, proprietor of Garmeen Banijyalay of Khatungonj, said his goods worth Tk5 lakh got damaged as water entered his warehouse. He expressed concerns over the large amount of losses they are incurring every day.
Last year, rain and tidal water inundated the commodity market for four times, damaging goods worth Tk500 crore.
Even, warehouses that were not submerged during the 1991 cyclone also went under water in 2018, added KTIA Secretary Chhogir.