As onion prices spiral out of control fuelled by a supply shortage, a huge amount of rotten onion was found to be dumped in Chaktai canal adjacent to Karnaphuli River on Saturday morning.
Locals said rotten onion is being thrown away everyday here. The onion had been stored by wholesalers who tried to cash in on the high demand for the common kitchen item in Bangladesh.
Md Idris, onion trader of Khatunganj, said the onion was imported from Myanmar. "The crop was a little rotten when it entered Bangladesh and decomposed more after being stored in the warehouses," he said.
He, however, could not name the traders who had dumped the onion.
During a visit to the area, sacks of rotten onion were seen dumped into the canal in Firingi Bazar Bridge Ghat area. Some local youths were seen sorting out better quality onion from there.
One of them said they are selling the half-rotten onion at Tk 40-50 per kg.
Ehesan Jahedi, general secretary of Chaktai Khatunganj Wholesaler Business Welfare Association, could not provide any information when asked about the rotten onion.
He said the onion in Chaktai of Khatunganj area might have been damaged after water seeped into warehouses during cyclone 'Bulbul'.
Onion was being sold at Tk 240 to Tk 250 in retail markets in Chattogram on Saturday.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday told Parliament that there is enough stock of onion but they are not being released to the markets.
Dhaka traders on Friday alleged that syndicates of importers and various groups in different areas are causing unusual hike in onion prices. They said it would take 30 to 45 more days for locally-produced onion to enter the markets.
At Dhaka's Nazirabazar, onion price had shot up to Tk 260 per kg on Saturday.
Prices of onion started soaring after India banned its export on September 29. The following day, onion cost about Tk 47 more per kg.
The government on Friday said onion is being flown to Bangladesh from Turkey, Egypt, Afghanistan and UAE on emergency basis to keep the local market stable.