At least one in every four factories in Chattogram's Kalurghat Industrial Area could face waterlogging as a major business constraint in the next 50 years, forecasts a climate change risk profiling report by the planning ministry.
Unlike the production units in the port city's Karnaphuli Export Processing Zone (KEPZ), Kalurghat industries are more likely to grapple with waterlogging, salinity, cyclones, floods, earthquakes and industrial fires in the long run, predicts the report published on Thursday in Chattogram.
After surveying a total of 57 industries in the KEPZ and the industrial area, the report, "Dissemination of Industry Sector Risk Profile: The Case of KEPZ and Kalurghat Industrial Area in Chattogram," was prepared by the Programming Division of the Planning Commission under the Ministry of Planning.
The report highlights the risks that will be posed in the two industrial areas after 25 years and 50 years, with the risk factors categorised into five levels ranging from very low risk to very high risk.
It said the Kalurghat industries now are at very low risk of waterlogging. After 25 years, this factor will put 0.75% factories at risk of high waterlogging. But the same factor, in the next 50 years, will place more than 24% factories at high waterlogging risk and more than 32% at a very high risk level.
According to the planning commission report, as many as 94.3% Kalurghat factories will be at very high risk from cyclones in the next 50 years.
In Kalurghat, there are 134 industries on 134 hectares of land while the 83-hectare KEPZ is home to 57 factories.
The industrial study juxtaposed the planned industrialisation in KEPZ and an unplanned one in Kalurghat.
Against almost all risk factors, including flooding, waterlogging, cyclones and earthquakes, the KEPZ projects a better future compared with Kalurghat.
Khandker Ahsan Hossain, chief of the Programming Division, presided over the launch of the report.
Officials told the programme that the study would help investors decide on where to put their money in future.
At a cost of Tk70 lakh, the study was undertaken in April 2020 and continued until April this year. Although the findings of the study were supposed to be released within nine months of the beginning of the process, it was delayed by three months due to the pandemic.
The study report was presented by Mollah Mohammad Awlad Hossain, director at ICT-GIS Division of the Institute of Water Modelling and Dr Rakib Ahsan, professor, Department of Civil Engineering of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET).
Mahbubul Alam, president of Chattogram Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Dr Nurun Nahar, joint chief of the Programming Division; Abu Saleh Khan, executive director at the Institute of Water Modelling; and Arif Abdullah Khan, program specialist at UNDP's Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management were present at the event. The KEPZ and members of various trade bodies took part in it.