Another RMG unit shut in Ctg

Staff Correspondent

The government-set review panel on Tuesday ordered suspension of production at a garment factory in the Chittagong port city following detection of structural flaws in the unit by European retailers’ inspection teams.
The experts of the review panel comprising representatives from the government, EU Accord, North American Alliance, BUET and Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association on Tuesday inspected two factory buildings in Chittagong following the recommendation of the Accord.
After visiting the buildings, the review panel asked the owner of New Tech Apparels not to run the factory as the structural condition of the six-storey building was vulnerable.
In another building, which housed three factories — Sadaf Fashions, Daelim Textile and Angela Fashion — the committee suggested for load management immediately and conducting detailed assessment within six weeks.
With the latest suspension of production at New Tech Apparels, the number of total factories that have been closed since the start of the factory inspection by the retailers in February this year rose to 22.
Syed Ahmed, chief inspector of the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishment, told New Age that following the visual inspection based on the report of Accord the review panel thought that the structure of the New Tech Apparels factory building was risky.
Ahmed said the owner of the factory also agreed with the decision of the review panel and he had already started the process of relocation.
The factory owner assured that he would pay all 500 workers of his factory as per the labour law provision regarding layoff.
Ahmed, also the chair of review panel, said the review panel also asked another building, which housed three factories, to vacate the top floor of the 5-storey building immediately.
The committee also asked the factory to remove two concrete-made water tanks from its rooftop and to remove some interior walls from the building.
Factory authorities have been asked to minimise load by today (Wednesday) and to conduct detail engendering assessment within six weeks.
At the end of the April, the Accord inspection teams found structural faults at New Tech Apparels and Sadaf Fashions in Chittagong, Mim Dresses Limited in Dhaka and Ali Apparels in Narayanganj and sent the reports to the review panel recommending immediate evacuation.
The review panel started its review on four factories from June 15 as review work halted for over one month due to disagreement over the inspection standard between the local and foreign experts.
The review panel visited the MIM Dresses Ltd at Mirpur Sunday and found that the factory authorities itself closed the unit and started the process of relocation.
On Monday the panel reviewed Ali Apparels in Narayanganj and asked its authorities to reduce the load of the building to run its production and also asked for detail assessment.
After the Rana Plaza building collapse last year that killed more than 1,100 people, mostly women garment workers, EU retailers formed Accord on Fire and Building Safety and North American apparel companies, retailers and brands formed Alliance for Bangladesh Workers Safety to improve safety in the Bangladeshi RMG factories.
The two platforms started factory inspection from February and have inspected over 900 units so far.

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