Industry owners get more profit in renting apartments
Plot owners of Comilla BSCIC Industrial Estate has been misusing the land issued to them by building apartments, or in some cases apartments on their factory premises to be rented out for extra money.
Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC) authority permits homes inside the industrial area only for managers and employees of the industries that are functioning in the area, said a BSCIC official Hasan Asif Chowdhury.
On a visit to the spot this correspondent found the area to have many signboards identifying factories, but it resembles more of a housing estate rather than an industrial one.
Many small industries are operating their factories on the first and the second floor of their industrial buildings and other floors are being rented to accommodate students and workers. Owners also rented the apartments to companies who are using them as storehouses for their goods.
Sources said some have been taking loans at low interest rates in the name of starting factories in the area and building apartments on them to rent.
An owner of a building in the area said: "The factories do not earn us much profit as they used to and they are out of operation most of the time. The floors are rented because there is the no point of wasting empty rooms."
Rakib, a son of a rice husking factory owner in the area said he lives in the factory building with his full family.
BSCIC industrial area in Comilla was established on 54.35 acres of land in 1961 for industrial expansion and to deal with the unemployment issue in the district. At that time 149 plots were issued for 142 industrial units. Currently 135 factories are operating in the area, said sources at BSCIC, Comilla office.
BSCIC official Hasan Asif Chowdhury said owners who violated the rules and have been misusing the plots, were notified and ordered several to shift their residence, but some have not complied with it.
A final notice notifying an eviction drive was sent to the owners in the first week of July, added the official.
Meanwhile the road inside the industrial area is in bad shape coupled with lack of proper system to deal with the severe water logging crisis after light rains.
Sources said Cumilla City Corporation currently has no development budget for the BSCIC Industrial Estate in the district.