VOL NO REGD NO DA 1589

Sunday, August 20, 2006

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Agitation programmes hamper downtown business activities
Jasim Uddin Haroon
8/20/2006
 

          Activities at the country's largest business hub at Motijheel and Dilkhusha are being badly hampered by regular meetings, formation of human chains and other agitation programmes at the city's Muktangaon and its peripheral areas.
On an average three rallies or other agitation programmes are being organised at this venue each day by different political parties, professional bodies resulting in huge traffic snarl up in the city.
It creates intolerable sufferings of the commuters and the common passers-by along with office goers.
Paltan crossing and zero point, near Muktangan, link the old and the new parts of the capital. The junction is also an important crossing to reach the business hub of Motijheel and Dilkhusha.
Police sources said the parties especially Islamic political parties and professional bodies usually occupy the north gate of Baitul Mukarram which obstructs movement of vehicles between the business hub and other parts of the city.
The number of meetings has significantly increased recently, traffic department sources said.
It hinted that the number of such programmes will further increase over the next two months until the BNP-led 4-party government hands over power to the caretaker government.
Besides, the normal activities of the Bangladesh Secretariat, the administrative hub of the country, are also being affected due to the programmes.
Office works at the ministries of finance and communication, local government and rural development and cooperatives, shipping and other important ministries located just opposite to Muktangan are also affected due to such random programmes, one senior official at the home ministry said.
"Chanting slogans at the meetings, uses of loud speakers affect our normal routine work along with ministerial meetings", finance ministry officials added.
Business people said the site should be relocated in the interest of smooth functioning of business houses.
Expressing grave concern over such random meetings and others agitation programmes at such an important area, President of Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) MA Momen said that the government should seek alternative to Muktangan as a place to hold public meetings.
"It has become a nuisance and business houses are suffering. And the staff members are being delayed in reaching offices and their movement to other places for official purposes also hampered due to such programmes", DCCI president added.
Sales at the shops located at Purana Paltan, Topkhana road and adjacent areas have fallen considerably as the most of the shops remained closed or their shutters remain half down apprehending that processionists might pelt stones and damage their shops.
President of Dhaka Mohanagar Dokan Malik Samity Helal Uddin Helal said they owners of shops at the area are suffering greatly as they have to shut down their business during programmes fearing probable attacks on their establishments.
"I think the government should arrange alternative site to hold such meetings and other programmes," he added.

 

 
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