A committee constituted by the Bangladesh Government, in the aftermath of the November 2012 Tazreen Fashions fire incident, has identified 334 small-scale garment manufacturing units in Dhaka that do not comply with the safety standards and regulations.
The committee, consisting of officials from the Fire Service, the Rajdhani Unnayan Katripakha (RAJUK), and officials from the Ministries of Home and Commerce, has submitted its report identifying the non-compliant apparel manufacturing units, mostly located in the old Dhaka city area.
The report lists eight different types of deficits or lacunae in the garment units that have been operating for decades in the Capital’s old city area, putting safety and security of people working there under constant threat.
In its report, the committee suggests relocation of all the unauthorized and poorly equipped clothing units to an industrial park to avoid any possible accidents in future.
According to the report, none of the identified non-compliant factories employs more than 50 workers.
Moreover, the apparel units are not members of either of the country’s two leading associations—the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers Association (BKMEA).
Also, none of the buildings of the 334 identified factories is approved by RAJUK. These factories do not have any additional exit route for workers to escape in case of any fire accident.
The electric connections at the non-compliant garment units are prone to short-circuit and the narrow roads that lead to these factories would make it difficult for fire fighters to approach the buildings in case of any eventuality, the report states.