Almost one decade since the completion of its infrastructural development works, the Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation Industrial Estate in Khagrachhari is still plagued with manifold problems.
The industrial estate is yet to get a complete shape owing to inadequate of bank loan facility, lack of uninterrupted power supply, and poor communication and security system. As a result, investors have shied away from setting up industries here.
The allotment of plots in Khagrachhari BSCIC Industrial Estate started in 2011. But in eight years, only 38 out of a total of 72 plots have been allotted to 19 entrepreneurs. Most of those who got the plots are yet to build any infrastructure on their plots.
Three out of the four factories, which were set up a few years back, have already been closed down. Different plots of the industrial estate have turned into grazing lands.
The government acquired 10 acres of land at Zero Mile area of Khagrachhari district town in 1987 to set up an industrial estate. The aim was to develop industries on local initiatives utilising the natural resources in the hills, and generating employment for local marginal population.
BSCIC sources said the plan for the Khagrachhari BSCIC has nosedived as no entrepreneur has gone there to build industries.
The officials referred to the inadequacy of bank loan facilities as the main reason for the entrepreneurs' shying away from investing there.
Local sources said the construction of a flour processing factory is underway in the estate now.
A mineral water factory named "Chengi Mineral Water" went into production, but it has been shut down because of high production cost and marketing complexities.
The production of a handloom factory owned by the same company has also been stopped for the same reasons.
Karnaphuli Golden Palm Factory, a company that is producing oil from locally grown palm fruits is on the verge of closure.
Mohammad Kashem, senior vice president of Khagrachhari Chamber of Commerce and Industries said, "The BSCIC industrial estate has not been able to have expected success due to the lack of power supply and bank loans. Easy availability of loans and infrastructural development can play a helping role in this respect."
Acting Deputy Manager of Khagrachhari BSCIC KM Sadekur Rahman said, "The activities of BSCIC could not be developed fully as it is an undeveloped hilly area. The entrepreneurs are being discouraged to invest for lack of government patronization and complexities in getting bank loans."
Khagrachhari municipality Mayor Rafiqul Islam demanded making bank loans easily available in hill areas to make Khagrachhari BSCIC estate dynamic.
"The entrepreneurs will be interested in making investments if they get loans at easy terms," he added.