S A Shofiee from Sylhet
Sylhet Int’l Trade Fair fails to attract people though it continue about one and half month which started on March 25, arranged by the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SMCCI).
Around 220 stalls participated with different types of products, though most of them were readily available in malls, and makeshift shops, as the organisers did not take any quality measurement policy, visitors complained.
No local products were promoted nor any significant foreign products were showcased; still the fair was titled as “International”, they added.
“An international fair should be organised to showcase our products to the global market and vice-versa, which will encourage a quality competition among the vendors,” said Faruk Mahmud Chowdhury, president of the Sylhet chapter of Sujon.
On Thursday night, Abu Ahmed Showkat Ali, a local businessman, went to the month-long International Trade Fair with his wife and two sons in Sylhet Sadar upazila playground in Eidgah area.
His sons wanted to buy toys, but his wife, household products. She was adamant, so the sons compromised.
They went inside a stall, and to her utmost surprise, most of the products, though the stall boasted of selling foreign goods, were locally made and could be easily found at the outside stores. And to top it all off, the prices were hiked up.
“The fair is nothing but a way of snatching our money,” said a disappointed Showkat.
This was a common picture at the trade fair,
Shafiul Alam Chowdhury, convener of the fair organising committee, and director of SMCCI, said, “We don’t have any specific space to host a real ‘International’ level trade fair. We have requested the authorities concerned for a designated spot already. Also we couldn’t declare any fixed roster for several hindrances like the recent HC stay order on the venue due to an ownership dispute.”
“Foreign participants have their demands too. They require a minimum four-month advance notification,” he said, adding, “We had also invited local manufacturers and traders.”
“…but the rents of the stalls are way high,” emphasised Faruk, adding, “The SMCCI should be more flexible.”
A general stall is about Tk 40-60 thousand, premium is around Tk 1 lakh, and pavilion is over Tk 1 lakh, depending on location, said fair officials.
Tanbhir Ahmed, an electronics goods importer, and a stall owner, said, “We sell products at a reasonable price, but the rent’s too high. We had to charge more to gain profit.”
“The facilities for the vendors and visitors are not adequate enough. Too much heat and nor’westers are hampering the continuity. The security service is weak and there are not enough toilets at the premise,” he added.
“The rent has been predetermined by SMCCI. We hope, in future, we could arrange the fair more efficiently, overcoming all odds,” said Safiul.
Power improvement project for
Sylhet Division approved
A major programme for improving the existing troubled power distribution system for Sylhet division has been prepared. The 18670 mn project styled ‘Power Distribution system development project for Sylhet division’ has already been approved by the Planning Commission, a senior official informed Friday.
It would help revamp the existing electricity supply system in the region, which had been in a pitiable state for long even after producing 3 fold of region’s power demand on the power stations in greater Sylhet region. The 3-year programme is set to be started from June this year while of the total project cost, Tk. 17315.54 mn would be provided by the Government of Bangladesh while the rest Tk. 1355.23 mn would be shared by the Power Development Board (PDB), the source informed.
Chief engineer of the PDB, Sylhet zone Ratan Kumar Sarker informed 12 new sub-stations would be constructed while 5 others would be renovated and strengthened. Besides, 135 km long 33KV line, 606 km long 11 KV line, 596 km long 11/4 KV line and 496 km Low tension line would be set up in the division. These would also help extension and strengthening of the existing system of power distribution lines in all the 4 districts of the division. Under the project, 3000 new transformers would also be procured and set up on the distribution lines, the senior official added,
it will reduce the line tripping incidents due to over loading. Another component of the important project is upgradation of the 274 km long 33 KV lines, 723 Km long 11 KV line and 1477 km of Low tension line in addition to the construction of some office buildings and office room. On the other hand, the existing distribution system at the city’s Shahjalal uposhahar area would be made under ground as a pilot programme. An amount of taka would be spent for the purpose, the official informed. Presently there area are 6143 long km distribution lines in the division with 2912 transformers in the 12 Electric supply areas of Moulvibazar, Habiganj, Sunamganj and Sylhet districts.
One killed as bus plunged into ditch
One person was killed and 22 were injured When a tourist vehicle plunged into a roadside ditch at Gowainghat in Sylhet on Sunday afternoon.
The identity of the deceased Mahfujur rahman Shakil(19) Resident of Shibgong in Sylhet City.
Witnesses said a passenger carrying Tourist bus plunged into the ditch after a wheel was separated from the bus around 5pm, leaving it’s a tourist dead and other 22 passengers injured on the spot.
Officer-in-charge of Gowainghat Police Station Jahangir Alam confirmed the incident.
Unidentified body recovered
Police recovered the body of an unidentified youth from Khanaighat area on the of the Sylhet district on Sunday .
Being informed, a team of police from Khanaighat Thana rushed to the spot, recovered the body and sent it to Sylhet Osmani Hospital morgue, saidHumayon Kobir , officer-in-charge of the Thana.