Entrepreneurs losing interest as Bagerhat BSCIC plagued with numerous problems
Ibrahim Khalil Jewel: The only BSCIC industrial town of Bagerhat is plagued with many problems. There is no end to the problems of the institution, including acute shortage of fresh water, roads full of potholes, and inadequate drainage system.
Due to the poor condition of the roads, the transport costs of the traders are increasing abnormally. Due to lack of adequate drainage system, BSCIC industrial city gets flooded with little rain.
Roads and industrial establishments in BSCIC are flooded when the tide rises. Businessmen demanded to develop the infrastructure in a quick time. Tenders have been invited for infrastructure development. However,the Deputy Manager of BSCIC Industrial City Md. Sharif Sardar said that the work will start soon.
According to the office of the Deputy Manager of BagerhatBSCIC, with the aim of creating industrial entrepreneurship, a small and cottage industry city was built in 1996 on about 21 acres of land on the side of the Bhairab River by the Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC). There are 123 plots in this industrial city. There are power sub-stations for uninterrupted power supply. Each plot has been allotted by the traders. Ten years ago, 57 industrial factories were operating here. But due to fragile infrastructure and lack of necessary facilities, there are currently only 37 institutions. These include easybike settings, coconut oil, auto rice and flour, mustard, dal mills, old plastic processing, coconut fiber mills, in which at least thousands of workers-officers-employees work. If infrastructure is not developed, traders will turn away fromBSCIC. Hundreds of workers will become unemployed.
Feli Banerjee, a worker working in a factory inBSCIC, said that the road condition ofBSCIC is so bad that walking is a burden. Rickshaw drivers don’t want to come even if they charge double the fare due to bad roads.
Rickshaw-van driver Badiuzzaman said, we drive rickshaws only in BSCIC and surrounding areas. Most of our passengers are BSCIC workers, owners and employees. But there is no way to enterBSCIC. The road is so broken that the rickshaw overturns. Tires go flat on a brick wall. So, despite the insistence of many, there is no double or triple rent.
Two workers named Shaukat Ali and Azaher Sheikh said that the products produced inBSCIC go to different areas. From here the government gets revenue. Why are we still neglected?
Ashok Kumar Saha, one of the partners of Coconut Oil Mill Saha Enterprises said, we have to use various vehicles including trucks to deliver products and collect raw materials. But due to bad roads, they have to suffer a lot. Due to increase in transport costs, many businesses are on the verge of closure. Some have closed their businesses.
A woman worker named Jharna Begum said, we have to work from within theBSCIC. But there is no provision of fresh water here. Water has to be bought and consumed. Or have to rely on rainwater. Water for cooking and bathing has to be provided from outside. This woman worker demanded to provide water through pipe line here.
Kamal Das, owner of Bhai Bhai Dal Mill, said that the condition of every road inBSCIC is very bad. In order to sustain the business, we have kept the road running by leaving bricks, sand and ditches in front of the mill at our own expense. Even the road in front of the main gate to enterBSCIC has been cleared and maintained at their own expense.
Shiv Prasad Ghosh, president of BagehatBSCIC Industrial City Owners Association, said, I have repeatedly visited various government departments including the Deputy Commissioner for the development ofBSCIC infrastructure. But we have no development. Despite having so many industries, there is no good drainage system here. I heard that millions of taka are allocated here. But what happens to that money? What works? We don’t even know.
He also said that if this situation continues, businessmen will lose interest in makingBSCIC an industrial institution. This business leader demanded speedy development of roads and necessary infrastructure to makeBSCIC operational.
Md. Sharif Sardar, Deputy Manager of BagerhatBSCIC Industrial City, saidBSCIC has a lot of work to do. All work will not be done at once. However, tenders have been invited for renovation of some roads and construction of gates. Hope the work will start very soon.
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