Lack of infra cripples Khulna, Bagerhat BSCIC estates

Hasibul Aman

23 April, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Lack of supportive environment and inadequate infrastructure are hampering production activities of factories and industries in BSCIC industrial estates at Khulna and Bagerhat.

Absences of gas connection, water supply, and waste management service and road infrastructure are causing serious sufferings to the entrepreneurs in the BSCIC estates. 

The gloomy picture of these two estates was surfaced in a latest inspection report prepared by Industries & Energy Division of Planning Commission.

Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC) set up an industrial estate between 1986 and 1996 in Bagerhat, while that in Khulna city was set up half a century ago in 1966.

The commission found a deplorable situation in Bagerhat estate because of unavailability of gas even after 20 years as well as lack of dumping yard, ETP and poor internal road condition.

Although a road segment saw some improvement recently, most other roads are not suitable for heavy vehicular movement, said the inspection report.

Water cannot be supplied to industries as water pump went out of order and no fire fighting system was found there.  Besides, the drainage system has become dysfunctional, which caused environment pollution and created a mosquito breeding ground.

Water logging and filthy water overflowing is a common feature during the rainy season. Its administrative building was also found in a poor state as its plaster and paint became weak.

A total of 115 industrial plots have been developed on 19.30 acres of land in Bagerhat BSCIC industrial estate.  So far, 50 industrial units have been set up there of which 42, including an export-oriented industry went into operation and work for seven other industries are going on.  

Carrying of finished goods from Bagerhat estate is not possible as it is located far from the highway and there is no rail connectivity, even though water transport is possible.

Financial transaction is tough from there as there is no branch of any scheduled commercial banks. The commission has recommended for setting up a training centre inside the estate after it found skilled manpower lacking due to absence of a training centre.

Similar picture was found in Khulna BSCIC industrial estate established on 44 acres of land beside Dhaka-Khulna highway in Shiromoni area.

There are 240 industrial plots in this estate all of which have been handed over to the entrepreneurs.  So far, only 88 industrial units have been set up there whereas 64 units are now operational, including an export oriented-industry. 14 units are now weak or closed.

Planning Commission mentioned the lack of gas supply as a major reason behind full-fledged operation of the estate.

There is no central ETP at Khulna BSCIC industry although some entrepreneurs set their own ETPs. Necessity of a dumping yard was also felt in this estate as well. Most of roads are in good condition but two found in a dilapidated condition.

Water supply problem was also found in Khulna estate as well because its pump was good but supply line was destroyed, compelling entrepreneurs set up their own pumps.  There is a water body in the estate, but its water has become polluted with industrial waste and its depth also decreased.  

The commission suggested constructing a fencing wall after it found a serious threat in Khulna BSCIC estate caused by absence of a fencing wall. It also recommended for regular maintenance of internal roads.

However, BSCIC high officials claimed that Tk 70 lakh to Tk 90 lakh is allocted for Khulna BSCIC estate which is very scanty amount. The picture of Bagerhat estate is also same.