‘Residential hotels’ for cattle up and running on the banks of Jamuna

Published : 04 Jul 2022 09:00 PM

One of the largest cattle markets in the country is the Gobindasi Haat on the bank of the river Jamuna at Bhuapur in Tangail. Numerous small and big 'residential hotels' for cows and buffaloes have been grown around this haat. Traders from different parts of the country buy and sell cows in this market. They keep purchased cows and unsold cows as well in these residential hotels grown around this haat. As the traders are able to run their business without any worries, many local families are doing business setting up residential hotels for cows and buffaloes. When Eid-ul-Adha comes, the business of traders in these residential hotels increases.

In the beginning, big wholesalers from far and wide used to bring cows and gather them in front of the houses of the people living around the market. During storms and rains, the cows of the wholesalers could find a place in the barns of these houses. In return they would pay the landlord. Due to such an easy opportunity to earn money and the demand of the wholesalers, the owners of the houses around the market built tin-shed houses for their animals in their open and free space. Starting to keep cows there in exchange for rent, as a result, those houses became known as residential hotels for cattle. The number of these hotels is increasing day by day as it is found profitable.

These residential hotels have adequate space for cows, buffaloes and goats separately and facilities to stay and eat. The Gobindasi Haat is established about 8 km north of Bangabandhu Bridge. The haat has been set up on the banks of the river Jamuna due to good communication system including land and sea transport. More than three hundred residential hotels are being operated in the vicinity of this market. But residential hotels have been declining since the Corona period. At present there are more than fifty residential hotels.

The development of residential hotels has created new jobs in the market, as well as opportunities for traders to buy and sell animals in a safe environment. Due to this, Govindasi Hat has become one of the largest cattle markets in the country. But from 2019 to July 2022, this large market has become dilapidated due to high rents, snatching and various other reasons.The big traders of the south-eastern part of the country including North Bengal stopped coming to this market now.

According to the locals, this haat started commercially at Gobindasi area on the bank of river Jamuna in the 80's. The market gradually became known. Apart from this, Govindasi cattle market caught the attention of wholesalers in a very short time due to the arrival of local and Indian cattle. In the 90's, it became a huge cattle market. Although no government facilities or infrastructural development made in the market at that time, at present the market has undergone a radical change.

In this context, the cattle wholesaler dealer, Shaheen said, cows and buffaloes are kept in the residential hotel. On the day of the market, unsold cows are left in residential hotels and distant traders leave. Having a hotel does not bother to take back their cows. As a result, the hotel owners take care of the cows till the next market. The cows are rented for 500-600 takas per week. Wholesalers can also get their food and drink for only 150-200 takas. Iman Ali a residential hotel at the local Govindasi Hat told that there are more than 50 cows in each of his hotels. He earns one to one and a half thousand takas per hotel from the market.

Zahidul Islam Khoka, the lessee of Gobindasi Hat, said the lease of the hat is Tk 52 lakh this year. Despite the fear of loss, I am making every effort to bring the traditional Govindasi Hat back to its previous form. All measures have been taken for the convenience of traders ahead of Eid-ul-Adha. Any type of truck token, load-unload fee has been kept free at the market. Apart from this, special measures have been taken to prevent any kind of extortion and looting.

Regarding law and order, Bhuapur Police Station Muhammad Faridul Islam, Officer-in-Charge (OC) said additional police would be deployed at the market to prevent various types of snatching, theft, counterfeit money and robbery. Police will also keep a close watch on the safety of traders and buyers.

In this regard Most. Ishrat Jahan, Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) said that special measures have been taken by the administration for the safety of the traders coming to the market.