The Financial Express

Benapole port closure leaves over 2,000 workers jobless

Published: April 01, 2020 13:52:39 | Updated: April 02, 2020 12:00:46

UNB file photo UNB file photo

Over 2,000 workers of Benapole Land Port have been jobless for past nine days as the export-import activities through the port remained suspended since March 24 in a bid to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Besides, several hundred NGO workers who are dependent on the port and customs house in Benapole are going through a tough time due to the ongoing shutdown across the country, according to a news agency report Wednesday.

Traders find it convenient for exporting and importing goods through the land port due to better communications system with neighbouring India.

In an average, around 400 trucks carrying goods from India enter Bangladesh while around 200 go to the neighbouring country every day.

The government earns at least Tk 200 million as revenue from the port each day. But the shutdown has halted the revenue flow and also left the workers without any job.

Amir Hossain, C&F trader, said authorities concerned suspended the trade activities through the port since March 24 to curb the spread of coronavirus. As a result, no truck enters or leaves the country carrying goods rendering workers jobless, he said.

Sajib Hasan, a worker, said they were earning enough to lead their life by working at the port. “But we’re now going through a trying time due to the suspension of loading and unloading of goods at the airport,” he said.

Bangladesh has so far reported 54 confirmed cases of coronavirus.

Of them, 22 are currently under treatment while six have died and 26 others already made recovery.

Meanwhile, the global death toll from COVID-19 has reached 42,151 as of Wednesday.

It has so far infected 858,669 people around the world, according to Worldometers.

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