The government has decided to take legal action against the readymade garment factories inspected under the national initiative that will fail to complete remediation work by April.
The labour ministry in a recent meeting to review the progress of Remediation Coronation Cell came to a firm decision that the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishment would file case against factories, which will fail to complete remediation in time, in May.
This would be imminent as the company authorities have signed agreements to fix the safety issues by April.
At the same time, the labour ministry would request Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association to not issue utilisation declaration against the errant factories, meeting sources said.
A plan of action for remediation was presented at the meeting by DIFE identifying four challenges for the remediation including unwillingness of the factory owners, non-cooperation from building owners, lack of experienced engineers and shortage of engineers at DIFE.
A total of 3,780 garment factories were assessed under the three initiatives Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety and the government lead and ILO supported national initiative.
Out of 3,780 garment factories, 1,549 were inspected under the national initiative, from which 531 were closed down, 69 relocated and 193 units shifted to the Accord and Alliance lists.
Currently, the DIFE were monitoring remediation work in 745 factories through the remediation coordination cell formed in May last year.
Of 745 factories, 300 were operating in own buildings while 445 were running its business in shared or rented buildings.
The DIFE informed labour ministry that the inspection department held 32 meetings with the factory owners to expedite the remediation and signed agreement with the owners to fix a deadline for the completion of remediation by April.
In the meeting, the representative of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology opined that unwillingness of factory owners to submit Detailed Engineering Assessment of building was the major impediment toward remediation.
In the meeting, the ministry asked DIFE to prepare a concrete list of required support for the remediation and a time-bound plan of action for the taskforces which were engaged to approve DEAs for structural, electrical and fire related aspects.
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