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Dhaka Tribune

BGMEA wants factory inspection by foreigners on set guidelines

Update : 18 Feb 2014, 06:39 PM

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has urged the government to fix a guideline for conducting the inspection by the foreign engineers at their factories under Accord and Alliance fire and building safety inspection programme.

The apparel makers’ apex body made the appeal to Housing and Public Works minister Engineer Mosharraf Hossain while exchanging a views at a meeting titled ‘Building, Fire and Electrical Safety Assessment of RMG Factory’, held yesterday at BGMEA office.

In response the minister said, ‘’The foreign engineers, who will come Bangladesh to inspect factories under Accord and Alliance fire and safety standards programme, will have to take registration from professional institutes like BUET and Institute of Engineers, Bangladesh (IEB) before going to inspect the factories,

Addressing the meeting, the minister also noted that they need to work with country’s expert team as they are not familiar with the environment of our country. “I will talk to the Prime Minister on this issue and necessary laws would also be enacted if necessary,”

He hinted that he would sit on Sunday again on this to find out effective measures to address this issue. The minister also urged the BGMEA leaders to come up with a list of factories, which are located in Detailed Area Plan (DAP), so they can get the occupancy certificate. 

BGMEA President Atiqul Islam said not a single factory should be inspected by the foreign engineers without having consultation with local engineers affiliated with IEB. “We are afraid of the out of inspection as the loyalty of engineers from abroad,” he said. “Lots of things have been imposed on us after the Rana Plaza incident.”   

Addressing the meeting, Professor Jamilur Reza Chowdhury, vice chancellor of University of Asia Pacific urged the government to open a special cell for RMG sector to expedite the process of approving factories’ structural design and other facilities under the existing rules and regulation.

“Factories, which were built before introducing Bangladesh National Building Code (BNBC) can also be allowed to run their operation after a survey considering loading capacity,’’ he said. 

The inspection is aimed at ensuring safety to the workers not to destroy the sector, Reaza, however, said.

“’There will be new codes but we have to give time to cope with it.”

Urging to form an expert committee to find out the unplanned buildings including shared building factories, converted factories, Rajuk Chairman Nurul Huda said, “If the committee gives certifies to those building, the Rajuk will also provide occupancy certificate.

Factory owners urged the government including Rajuk to simplify the process of approving new factories with the existing by shunning the complexity.

Professor M Shamim Z Basunia, president of IEB, said, “We have to ensure check and balance for the foreign engineers who are entering into the country to inspect the factory.” 

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