The sale of sacrificial animals ahead of Eid-ul-Azha is yet to gain momentum due to a low turnout of customers in almost all the 17 cattle markets in the capital.
The traders, however, hope that the markets will be abuzz with customers from today as people will get two public holidays before the Eid holidays that begin from Sunday.
Meanwhile, fear and anxiety over a successful sale of the cattle still grips the traders since they suffered huge loss in last two years.
“I am very anxious as I could not sell any of the 13 bulls I have brought from Natore on Wednesday,” said Anowar Bepari at the Postogola cattle market. He incurred a loss of Tk 5 lakh last year.
Although there is a huge supply of sacrificial animals in the capital, most of the buyers complained about the soaring prices. But cattle traders said they had to pay an additional Tk 10,000 to Tk 15,000 to buy a middle-sized bull.
Anisur Rahman, a resident of Gendaria who came to visit a local cattle market at East End Club field, said the prices of cattle were very high compared to the previous year.
CCTV AND FAKE NOTE
Like previous years, the authorities of cattle markets, with the help of Dhaka Metropolitan Police and different banks, have set up CCTV and fake note detecting machines at several points and counters of the markets.
Although the cattle traders did not complain about extortion or hassle from the law enforcers on their way to the capital, they claimed they had to pay additional amount to some brokers of Daulatdia-Paturia and Mawa-Kewrakandi ferry ghats.
“I had to give Tk 2,000 to brokers at Daulatdia ghat to cross the river though the official fee is Tk 1,060,” said Sujon Ali, a truck driver who carried bulls from Jhenidah to the Sadeque Hossain Khoka playground by Dholai Khal road yesterday morning.
Even the BIWTA staff at the ticket counter asked him to buy tickets from the brokers, he added.
Mohammad Murad, a truck driver who brought bulls from Faridpur, also complained of giving extra money to some brokers at Mawa and Kewrakandi ghats.
“Apart from the ferry charges, I gave Tk 400 at Kewrakandi and Tk 200 at Mawa ghat on the way to East End Club field,” he said.
Shafiqul Islam, manager (commerce) of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) at Daulatdia ferry ghat said they have set up weighbridge at the ferry ghat to measure the weight of goods-laden trucks and that they are taking extra money only for the additional weight the trucks are carrying.
He said they charge Tk 1,060 for a medium size truck which is eligible to carry 20 tonnes while a big size truck which carries 23 tonnes has to give Tk 1,460. However, Tk 120 is charged for each tonne of additional weight, he added.