Sunday, December 15, 2019 | ePaper

Stored rotten onions dumped in canal

Onion price hits Tk 260 per kg: 1st air consignment of Egyptian onion arrives on Nov 19

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Rotten onions seen floating in the Chaktai canal adjacent to Karnaphuli River at Khatunganj in Chattogram on Saturday morning as traders thrown them away at night.

Staff Reporter :
The price of onion was increasing by the hour and it reached Tk 260 a kg in the city's kitchen markets on Saturday, further burdening the fixed-income group people.
Onion prices began to rise about two months ago, when India restricted its onion export. But the price started to rise sharply last week.
Earlier this month, each kg of locally grown onion was sold for Tk 100-120 in the capital. But the price jumped to Tk 160 on Tuesday morning and then kept rising.
The prices rose by Tk 30 to 40 every day since Wednesday.
As onion price spiral out of control fuelled by a supply shortage, a huge quantity of rotten onion was dumped in Chaktai canal adjacent to Karnaphuli River yesterday morning, said Ahmed Safa, cleaning Inspector of Bakshirhat Ward No 35, reports our Chattogram correspondent.
Locals said the rotten onion is being thrown away everyday at night there. 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 and general secretary of Hamidullah Market Traders Association of Khatunganj, said, "The onion was a little rotten when it entered Bangladesh and decomposed more after being stored in the warehouses."
He, however, could not name the traders who had dumped the onion but claimed those onions were imported from Myanmar.
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 canal in 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.
The first consignment of onion from Egypt will be flown to Bangladesh on November 19.
S Alam Group is importing the onion from Egypt, the Ministry of Commerce said on Saturday.
On Friday, the government announced that onions are being flown from abroad on emergency basis to keep the local market stable.
The Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) is importing onion from Turkey, S Alam Group from Egypt, and several other companies from Afghanistan and the United Arab Emirates, the Ministry said in a press release.
Onion consignments trapped due to cyclone Bulbul at Teknaf land port, Chattogram Seaport and some other places will reach the country soon, it said.

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