Oh onion! Disorder, scuffles, irregularities mar TCB sale in Dhaka

  • Faysal Atik, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2019-11-17 20:51:44 BdST

Consumers in Dhaka are swooping down on trucks used by dealers of the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh or TCB to sell onion at fair price in an effort to ease skyrocketing prices.

The dealers appeared unprepared for the huge crowds as scuffles, disorder and irregularities marred the sale at different points.

bdnews24.com visited Kachukhet, Mirpur-10 and Khamarbari intersection of Farmgate where people scrambled for onion when the TCB dealers arrived with loaded trucks.

Most disorder occurred at Kachukhet where many customers alleged they failed to get any onion after waiting in long queues for hours from as early as 9am.

But some were still buying onion at noon by breaking the queues and getting into the disorderly crowd created at the front of the lines.

Influential people of the neighbourhood and some policemen were buying onion from the sides of the truck, skipping the long queues, and more than once, which was prohibited.

The customers are allowed only one kg at Tk 45 by the TCB as prices have shot up in the market following a supply squeeze across South Asia due to bad weather leading to a drop in production.

“We are trying our best, but the people themselves are creating trouble,” one of the men selling TCB onion at Kachukhet said.

They stopped selling to women when the disorder reached the peak in the queues for the female customers.

One of them, Sathi Akter, jumped onto the truck at the time and tried to bring order to the queue for half an hour in a failed attempt.

She pointed the finger at the sellers for the disorder.

“They knew this will happen, then why haven’t they taken measures?” she asked.

Customers at Mirpur-10 started an altercation with the sellers when a traffic policeman collected 5 kg onion by skipping the queues.

TCB spokesman Humayun Kabir told bdnews24.com they had raised the issue of disorder at a meeting on coordination.

“Dhaka Metropolitan Police were given a list of the 35 points of TCB onion sale and asked to take measures as we don’t have enough manpower to keep order,” he said.