A half-century old local market of dinghy (small boat) in Manikganj has garnered popularity for the quality of boats sold there, with buyers coming from across the country.
Hundreds of boats are sold at the market in Ghior upazila in Manikganj, locally known as ‘Ghior Dinghy Noukar Haat’, from the morning till dusk.
Located at the central Eidgah ground beside the Ghior Government College in the upazila, the market sits in every week on Wednesday.
Apart from Manikganj district, buyers from different areas including Tangail, Sirajganj and Dhaka come to the market.
Since the beginning of the monsoon, huge number of boats were sold in the market. Due to the flow of Padma-Jamuna, Dhaleshwari, Ichhamati and Kaliganga rivers through Manikganj district, the water of the river easily enters into different areas while the downstream areas go under water during the tide. As a result, they have easy passage through boats. That is why before the rainy season, the craftsmen make boats.
Ramprasad Sarker Dipu, a journalist hailing from Golapnagar village in the upazila, said this boat market started around 50 years ago. Every year, in the beginning of monsoon, the market turns abuzz with the presence of buyers and sellers, he added.
Every family living in the downstream and riverbank areas of Harirampur, Shivalaya, Ghior, Daulatpur and Saturia upazilas of the district have own boats. The people of these areas have been using the boats as an easy mode of transport for decades.
Farid Molla of Kusta village in Ghior upazila said that he bought an 11-feet long boat made of Shimul wood at Tk 3,200. The price of the boat is a bit higher this year compared to the previous year, he said.
The leaseholder of the market Gouranga Kumar Ghosh said that this boat market is famous for quality boats. The craftsmen and traders come to the ‘haat’ from different districts with hundreds of boats for sale every Wednesday.
“The boats are sold here at fair prices. That is why this market is famous across the country,” he said.
Boat trader Ranjit Biswas said that the boats mostly come from Nagarpur of Tangail, Chouhali of Sirajganj and Dhamrai-Savar of Dhaka, all are neighbouring districts of Manikganj.
The boats are made with the wood of different trees including mahogany, koroi, mango, chambal, and rain-tree. The dinghies are sold at prices ranging from Tk 2,000 to Tk 7,000 based on sizes and quality, Ranjit added.