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Fish Supply to Agartala Severely Hampered Due to Bangladesh Transport Strike

Chintu Das
Chintu Das
Bangladesh Strike

Fish supplies to Agartala were severely hampered for 3 days after the Bramhanbaria Truck Owners and Lorry Workers Union of Bangladesh halted operations in protest of extortion attempts made by a portion of the governing party cadres in Bangladesh's Akhaura and Brahmanbaria areas.

Since Tuesday, the supply of fresh fish from Bangladesh, particularly hilsa, has been nearly completely depleted at wholesale fish markets and large retail shops. Due to the scarcity, prices for whatever fish was available in the markets, which was primarily a few indigenous species and imported fish from Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal, increased.

Bangladesh had earlier this month, according to the local fish merchants, sent 2,000kg of silver-brand export-quality hilsa fish to Tripura after a 10-year hiatus, but it never made it to local markets. As a result, during Durga and Laxmi Puja in the state, lower grade small-sized hilsa was sold for Rs 1,200-2,000 per kilogram.

Local traders claimed Bangladesh had supplied a small shipment of high-quality hilsa that never made it to the marketplaces. Influential people bought the fish from the checkpoint for a low price. The importers allegedly promised that the supply would last at least a month, but this did not occur.

Furthermore, in Bangladesh, the truck owners' and transport workers' unions have levied extortion charges against the ruling party's cadres. According to union chairman Sakhawat Hussein Khokan, the union submitted a seven-day notice requesting action against the Brahmanbaria district administration, but it failed to fix the situation.

Hundreds of loaded trucks on both sides of the border have been stranded for three days, according to officials at the Akhaura checkpoint, because all Brahmanbaria district transport staff and labourers involved in loading and unloading have refused to work.

The demonstrators, on the other hand, have threatened to keep the blockade going indefinitely until the administration takes action against the extortionists and ensures that trade on both sides of the border remains unhindered.

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