1700 RMG makers submit designs of their factories

Some 1700 apparel manufacturers submitted structural designs of their respective factory buildings until Thursday, the last day set in this regard.

Of the total designs, the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) received about 1200 while Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) got around 550.

Many of the garment makers have appealed to the BGMEA and BKMEA for extension of the timeframe, sources said.

Earlier on April 27, both the apparel apex bodies set May 30, 2013 as the deadline for submission of the reports containing structural designs, building layout, soil test reports and the load bearing capacity of the buildings.

The move has been taken to assess the safety standards of apparel units across the country following the Rana Plaza collapse which housed five garment factories at Savar. The building collapse claimed lives of over 1100 RMG workers.

"So far 1200 BGMEA members have submitted structural designs of their factory buildings," Md Shahidullah Azim, vice president of the apex body told the FE Thursday.

Terming the response 'very good', he said many factory owners have sought more time as they are yet to get the necessary documents.

Some have got the soil test reports while they are yet to get the building designs as those are located in shared buildings or converted ones, he explained.

BKMEA vice president Md Hatem said the association got reports from 550 factories so far out of 1000.

According to BGMEA, its listed factories are 5500, while about 3200 are running and nearly 2000 factories take utilisation declaration (UD) from the association.

The BGMEA leader said they will sit to decide whether the apex body would extend the timeframe following the appeal from the owners.

"We, the board members will sit and then decide what to do in respect of time extension," Mr Azim said.

Both the BGMEA and BKMEA leaders said they would review the structural designs by experts and take necessary steps as per their recommendations.

Earlier last month, BGMEA and BKMEA in a joint press conference announced that they would suspend membership of the factories and stop other services to them, if they fail to submit reports on their buildings to the association within the deadline

"We'll re-examine the reports and if we find any deviation, we'll suspend their membership and also stop providing any service to them," BGMEA vice president SM Mannan Kochi had said at the press conference.