No hartal: Cox’s Bazar hotel occupancy jumps to 50pc

A good number of people are rushing to beach city Cox’s Bazar and hill station Rangamati to re-energize their minds and souls that had got bored because of a long blockade and hartal programme.

The city people want to inhale fresh air, walk freely and without any fear along the beach line or uneven roads of Rangamati during this brief holiday, thanks to a break in general strike programme, being sponsored by BNP-led alliance.

cox'a bazarWith Thursday as an Independence Day holiday, holiday-makers got another two-day weekend this time, without any hartal, as an opportunity to get refreshed.

Hotel reservation at Cox’s Bazar simply jumped to 50 per cent from a meagre 5 per cent a few days ago, as Bangladesh Nationalist Party-led alliance declared an intermission into their hartal programme.

The country-wide transport blockade, however, is in place.

‘I am happy to be in Rangamati…I love this place,’ said Ashraf Ahmad—who rushed to the city, largely inhabited by ethnic Chakma, Marma and Tripura people—from Khulna.

Ashraf was also worried about his safety as he will return on Sunday when the alliance may come up with a fresh spell of general strike.

In Cox’s Bazar, hotel, motel and rest house owner’s association secretary general, Kashem Sikdar, said already 25 per cent people arrived in the city. The figure was not exact, but this 25 per cent can mean several thousand people, who are already in the beach town, hoteliers said.

In Rangamati the hotel booking rate rose up to 20 per cent, one of the highest occupancy in the last two or three months, said Bikash Chakma, manager of Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation.

Rangmati Bus Owners Association leader Mainuddin Selim said tour-makers were still avoiding bus journey during nights but journey during day-time was rising.

In Dhaka, this morning was particularly different because of long tailbacks on the major streets. A huge number of private cars, mini and micro buses were seen plying.

The BNP-led alliance’s nationwide transport blockade today stepped into its 79th day.

The anti-government alliance has also been calling strikes five days a week since February 6.

The BNP’s joint secretary general Barkat Ullah Bulu in a press release on Tuesday called country-wide protest rallies for Wednesday, which means there would be no shutdowns and that March 26 is a public holiday.

– New Age


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