Though the flood waters have started receding in different parts of the country the people of Sylhet's Beanibazar upazila are suffering from severe food crisis.
The prices of daily commodities, especially dry foods used for relief have shot up multiple-fold in a week.
During a recent visit to different shops in the area, the UNB correspondent found that before the floods flattened rice (chira) sold at Tk 80 per kg is now being sold at Tk 100. A week ago, the price of this flattened rice was Tk 55 to 60 per kg.
The price of puffed rice (muri) has doubled in the area within a week. Last Friday, the puffed rice sold at Tk 53-to 55 per kg is now being sold at Tk 110.
The price of rice and lentils have also increased. Onions were being sold at Tk 40 per kg and potatoes at Tk 20 per kg. Even a week ago, onions were sold at Tk 35 per kg and potatoes at Tk 20 per kg. Price of eggs, one of the main protein items, significantly increased in this flood-hit area over the past few days, landing the consumers in more trouble.
The price of a hali (four pieces) of eggs rose to Tk 45-48 at retail markets from Tk 38-42 earlier.
As there is an acute shortage of dry wood due to floods in the area, the price of charcoal has increased significantly. Earlier, it was sold at Tk 400 to 500 per maund and is now being sold at Tk 950 per maund.(1 maund=38kg)
Shamim Ahmed, a grocer in Uttar Bazar in Beanibazar municipality, said that some unscrupulous traders are taking advantage by increasing the price of dried food.
Shaheen Alam Hridoy, joint secretary of Beanibazar Press Club, said the way in which the prices of products used as relief for flood victims are increasing day by day is inhumane. The administration should monitor the market and bring such rogue traders under the law.
Beanibazar Upazila Nirbahi Officer Ashiq Noor said it was not possible to monitor the market due to the floods. However, action will be taken soon, he added.