Many major streets in the capital wore a deserted look Saturday as the leaders of seven-nation South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) began a two-day summit amid tight security.
All roads leading to the summit venue -- Bangladesh-China Friendship Conference Centre - remained mostly off-limit to all sorts of vehicles.
Most of the commuters on the Shahbagh to Airport Road walked to their destinations as the transport movement remained stopped for hours to ensure security of the VVIPs, who are attending the 13th SAARC summit in the city.
Security personnel were seen changing the directions of moving vehicles on some routes causing immense suffering to city commuters in Motijheel, Farmgate and Paltan areas.
The restriction of vehicular movement also made some essential commodities dearer in the city markets adding miseries to the consumers, already hit by recent price hike. Goods laden trucks can hardly enter into the well-fortified Dhaka city.
As a result, the supply of the essential commodities dropped significantly from the countryside after the Eid holidays, which resulted in the rise of prices of different items at the city markets, especially at the retail levels.
"We have been counting loses over the last one month due to holidays like Puja, Ramadan and Eid holidays. Due to the restriction on the movement the sales of tickets of transports declined by more than 30 per cent," said Abdul Hamid Sharif, president of the Association of Bus Companies (ABC).
"Though the prices of some essential commodities like edible oil, lentils and sugar did not register a hike at wholesale level, the sales of such items fell by nearly 50 per cent over the last one week due to controlled movement of commuters and transports," said Abul Hashem, an importer and an executive member of the Moulvibazar Babosayee Samity (MBS).
But, the prices of some essential commodities including vegetables rose by Tk 5.0 and Tk 6.0 per kg in retail markets in the city, traders said.
"The inadequate supply of the vegetables and other farm products is also hampering their export to a great extent over the last few days," said S M Jahangir, a vegetable exporter while talking to the FE.
He said the traders have suffered problem in exporting perishable items first due to the Eid holidays and the restriction of movement later due to the SAARC summit.