Suppliers and traders opined that supply of food grains and industrial raw materials across the Sylhet area was restored but fear of return of violence still hunted them due to the rolling transport blockade and shutdowns.
‘We are back to business,’ said, general secretary of Sylhet Truck and Covered Van Owners’ Association. But some stray incidents still happened, which scares us, he said.
Transport cost also fell compared to before and during political violence, as demand for vehicles declined due to the ongoing lean season for exports, he said.
About compensation announced by the government for vehicles damaged in arson or vandalism during blockade and hartals, he said this compensation only covers 25% of their losses.
After weeks of deadly arson attacks by anti-government protesters enforcing transport blockade, commercial vehicles have slowly begun to return to the streets and highways due to strong monitoring of law-enforcing agencies.
Three months of the widespread violence across the country has left at least 8 people dead.
The transport blockade called by the BNP-led 20-party alliance demanding a neutrally administered national election has continued non-stop for the past three months.
‘Trucks loaded with vegetables are now plying as like as before,’ said a vegetable trader from Comilla.
Abdul Matin, a trader in the city’s Bandar Bazar, said around 200 trucks were now entering the Kalighat Bazar wholesale market every day. The number dropped to below 100 just one month ago.
Nizam Uddin, a trader in the city’s Bandarbazar wholesale rice market said goods-carrying trucks are now available in the city.
Nizam said the farmers have badly been affected by the blockade as they failed to ship their produces to the capital and other places of the country as the transportation cost soared.
He also said rice import from India was an additional pain for the farmers.