The authorities barely have their eye on the Jashore BSCIC Industrial Estate, alleged entrepreneurs.
The site, that houses 118 industrial units, has an acute water crisis as well as a serious lapse in security measures, but entrepreneurs reportedly have to pay regular charges on these services.
During its beginning in 1962 on 50 acres of land at the outskirts of Jashore, it set up water pumps for its 25 units. Since then, 57 years have elapsed and the unit number has multiplied by around five times, but no additional pump has been installed there.
"As the industrial estate lacks adequate water reservation system, a sudden outbreak of a fire might cause it a huge loss," said Sheikh Mostafa Ali, the general secretary of the BSCIC Industrial Estate Owners' Association.
Unlike in other estates, over 97 percent of the industrial units are now functioning and produced goods worth over Tk686 crore in fiscal year 2018-19. The industrial area exported goods worth over Tk248 crore during the same period.
Also, it provides employment to around 6,000 workers, almost half of whom are females.
But, years of negligence towards the well performing industrial estate by the authorities have irked the entrepreneurs.
An eerie environment erupts when night falls as the whole industrial zone has no police camp and even streetlights. Employees and workers suffer a feeling of insecurity after evening, said Sheikh Mostafa.
Especially female workers, who come to work or return home around 10pm, feel extremely insecure because of possible sexual assaults on the way. Incidents of theft, robbery and mugging are frequent in the area, he added.
Akter Hossain, owner of the Enayet Engineering, vented his resentment and said the Jashore BSCIC Industrial Estate is beset with numerous problems.
"It has infrastructural issues. Many industries would have set up here had these difficulties been solved earlier," he said.
Every year, industry owners have to pay charges but the authorities do not provide a minimum of services, he alleged.
Shyamol Das, the owner of export-oriented MU Sea Foods, said, "We are paying tax to the union parishad, and the BSCIC has been realising service charges. But we do not get any service from them. Even there is no boundary wall and a main gate in the estate. Nor has it an electric feeder."
Mizanur Rahman Khan, the former president of the Jashore Chamber of Commerce, said the BSCIC Industrial Estate has a lot of potential. But entrepreneurs do not get any financial assistance from the government.
Production in the site would increase manifolds if easy loans were available for the entrepreneurs, he added.
But, SM Kamrul Hasan, the deputy general manager of the Jashore BSCIC, claimed the overall state of the industrial site is far better than other industrial estates across the country.
"Recently, a road has been constructed at a cost of Tk60 lakh. Also a process is on for inviting tender for another Tk94-lakh development work," he said.
Many problems of the area will go away once the project is completed, he further said.