The project was inaugurated on June 6 last year with an agreement between the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Indian PM Narendra Modi signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU). But only the necessary land was acquired.
The Dhaka Tribune has discovered that though 506 acres of land was requisitioned, it has not been transferred to the Bangladesh Economic Zone Authority (Beza). Local administration claims the transfer will speed things up.
The government announced plans for the special economic zone in Kushtia in 2015. A decision was taken to transfer unused railway lands in Char Mokarimpur, Arajisara, and Char Rooppur of Bheramara. The foreign investors chose Bheramara as the ideal location among 22 others after considering factors like land, communication, power and gas access.
Deputy Commissioner Syed Belal Hossain said the land would soon be transferred to Beza to commence. He expressed positive impacts from the project.
Economists have speculated that implementation of this project will result in local employment and have a positive impact on the national economy.
SM Qadri Shakil, a director of the Kushtia Chamber of Commerce (KCC) said building the economic zone needs to be accelerated, and local investment should also be encouraged too.
His sentiments were echoed by former KCC director Ashraf Uddin Nozu and Kushtia District Bus-Minibus Owners' Association Chairman Sadar Uddin.
Shanti Moni Chakma, upazila nirbahi officer (UNO) of Bheramara, disclosed that representatives from Indian companies like Ambani and Tata have visited the area and expressed their interest to invest here. She added that economic giants like China and Japan are also interested.