The infrastructure development of the Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation's (BSCIC) industrial estate in Barishal is going on in full swing, attracting entrepreneurs to set up industries there.
The government has allocated a total of Tk71 crore for the development of the estate in two phases. The work of the first phase, spending Tk50 crore, began in early 2020.
Around 60% of the work on the first phase has been completed so far.
It is scheduled to be completed by December this year while the second phase will start soon, according to the officials of the Barishal BSCIC.
The industrial estate will be more attractive to investors after the completion of the project, they said.
Already, many entrepreneurs have contacted the corporation to get plots there, they added.
"All the roads inside the BSCIC estate are in good condition now. The construction of the drainage system is almost finished," said Shafiqul Islam, one of the contractors of the development project.
"Earlier, we were dissatisfied with the poor condition of the roads but now the BSCIC estate's development has inspired us to get new plots there," said Shahabuddin, a food manufacturing factory owner.
The Ministry of Industries had allocated a good amount for developing the infrastructure – including roads and culverts, drainage system, boundary walls and building – of the BSCIC estate, said Jalij Mahamud, deputy general manager (DGM) of the BSCIC.
Additionally, under the project, lowland is being filled with sand to increase the number of plots in the estate, he further said.
"Many plot owners have not built factories due to the road communication problem, but now they have to use the plots for manufacturing products. Otherwise, the allotment of the plots will be cancelled," said Jalij.
After completing the work, 110 new plots will be allotted among new entrepreneurs, he added.
"We are happy to see the good quality construction work and we expect that the BSCIC will provide all the modern amenities required for the entrepreneurs," said Rafiqul Islam, a factory owner in the BSCIC estate.
"The development of the BSCIC estate was our long cherished desire, which is now being implemented. More entrepreneurs will be attracted here due to the development," said Mizanur Rahman, chairman of Fortune Group and also president of BSCIC Shilpa Malik Samity in Barishal.
All the industries and factories of the estate had suffered because the condition of the roads inside the BSCIC area was very poor. Many areas in the estate flooded with rainwater during the monsoon season because of a poor drainage system, according to the BSCIC Industry Owners' Association.
In the rainy season, no vehicle could enter the BSCIC estate and even the machinery in the factories was often submerged by rainwater, said many factory owners in the estate.
However, now they are very pleased to see the development of the industrial estate, said Saleh Alom, owner of a tissue shopping bag manufacturing factory in the BSCIC area.
Earlier, he had to spend more money to transport goods due to the poor communication system.
"We are trying to construct roads and a drainage system as soon as possible, ensuring good quality," said Monirul Islam Talukder, another contractor of the development project.
The BSCIC estate of Barishal was established on around 52.85 hectares of land in Kawnia area of Barishal city in 1960.
A total of 110 factories are fully operational in the estate now.
No major development work had been done in Barishal BSCIC estate for the last sixty years except some minor work in 2016.