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Normalcy Returns to Bangladesh After Blockade
Traffic, trade in Dhaka resume regular levels after four-day stoppage
Golam Mustofa Sarowar (Golam)     Print Article 
Published 2006-11-17 11:15 (KST)   
Life in the capital Dhaka and elsewhere in Bangladesh returned to normal following the indefinite postponement of the road-rail-waterways blockade program called by the Awami League-led 14-party alliance.

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The four-day long blockade from Nov. 12-15 had intensified the sufferings of the general public, businessmen, and others. Fourteen-party alliance leader and Awami League President Sheikh Hasina, setting a fresh deadline till Sunday, has suspended the blockade program.

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Afterward her announcement on Wednesday evening, lorries, buses, minibuses started returning on the streets of the sprawling capital-city Dhaka, with life limping back to normal after remaining besieged for four days.

However, there were mad rush at the banks on the day and people thronged the markets for buying essentials.

In the meantime, prices of rice, flour, vegetables, meat and dried fish, which registered a fresh rise during the recent countrywide non-stop blockade, have started to come down.

Asked about the reason, the wholesalers and retailers in the city's different kitchen markets yesterday said the supply of the essentials resumed immediately after the suspension of the blockade on Wednesday evening.

They said the total supply chain came to a halt due to the non-stop blockade and it will take two or three more days for restoration of normal supply to markets.

Merchants said the country's northern region is the prime grower of fresh vegetables and rice, which are usually supplied to the city. Replying to a query over the rise in prices, they said the increase in wholesale rate and additional cost involved in transportation forced them to raise the price.

Merchants said sales were higher than usual in the markets as the city residents feared a long-term blockade and rushed to restock their supplies of essentials. But the limited supply of essentials has failed to meet the demand of potential consumption of the city's over 9 million residents
.
Long route transports have started leaving or arriving at the city terminals from other districts. Inter-district buses and trucks which stayed off roads, cutting off communications between the city and other parts of the country, are also now plying different routes.

Besides, the country's trade, which came to a standstill, resumed Thursday following the suspension of the blockade program. Educational institutions, business and other establishments resumed their normal activities.

In the capital, activities of all educational institutions, business establishments and shopping resumed and the traffic streamed back on streets as hundreds of passenger buses and other vehicles occupied the city roads.
©2006 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Golam Mustofa Sarowar

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