Amid a shortage of trucks due to a strike by transport workers, the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) reduced the number of open market sales (OMS) spots of onions in Dhaka on Wednesday.
The autonomous trading organisation has said it sold onions at only five places out of 35 designated spots in the city on the first day of the truckers' strike.
The five spots were National Press Club, Malibagh Railgate, Mirpur-10, Khamarbari and Azampur.
Usually, the TCB sells onions every day at 35 spots in the city. In general, one tonne of onions is sold in a truck.
"Four tonnes of onions instead of one tonne were provided for each truck on Wednesday. A total of 20 tonnes of onions were sold at OMS spots," TCB spokesperson Humayun Kabir said.
It is to be mentioned that truckers across the country are observing a strike in protest against the enforcement of the Road Transport Act 2018.
The Trading Corporation of Bangladesh and the Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation blamed each other for the lowering of the number of OMS spots for sales of onions.
Owing to the truckers' strike, TCB dealers sought trucks from the BRTC for selling onions. In response, they got only five trucks.
The TCB spokesperson told The Business Standard that TCB's dealers did not get the required number of trucks from the BRTC for selling onions in the city as truckers had gone on strike across the country.
"We needed 35 trucks, but the BRTC could not provide us with that many trucks today (Wednesday).For this reason, we have had to make do with providing onions to 20 dealers in those five trucks," said Humayun Kabir.
But the BRTC refuted the allegation made by the TCB on the truck issue.
Shahrier Bulbul, manager (operations) of BRTC, said, "The TCB dealers sought five trucks from the BRTC and we have complied with their request."
He also said that the TCB dealers hired the trucks from the BRTC for Tk10,000 each. They usually return the trucks at night after selling onions the whole day.
"We have ten more trucks in the depot. If they had wanted more, we could have given them those as well," said Shahrier Bulbul.