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Delwar Kabir, back from Magura
Magura Textile Mills Limited has been closed once again. The mills run by the Bangladesh Textile Mills Corporation (BTMC).
The contractor, who was running the mills on a contract basis, had stopped the production for shortage of fund and labourers.
Locals and mills sources said, BTMC established the mills on 16.17 acres of land in 1985. Since inception, it continued till 1990 where at least 1,000 day laborers including skill labouers and mechanics were providing services.
Most of the employees, except some administrative positions, lost their job.
At one stage, the BTMC initiated to sale the mills through a tender process where it was decided to sale the mills only for Taka nine crore.
But anyhow the process was stopped. Since then the mills was closed which continued for about ten years. Later, an Awami League leader played vital role to run Magura Textile Mills Limited again.
A number of mills workers on Sunday told The Bangladesh Post that although the old machineries were used in the mills for production, it was producing quality thread of 20, 32 60 and 80 counts which had a good demand in the country. The mills was producing 16 to 17 bales of thread (three tones) per day during the production tenure, they said. Ali Akbar, owner of Ali Enterprises, said that he signed a two-year contract with the BTMC to run the mills using all equipments, structures and other facilities for Tk 1.50 lakh per month. Initially he started the mills with a number of workers in early January this year.
He was paying Tk 160 to the low paid staff, while more for the skill and efficient workers daily. But most of the workers stopped attending the mills when the charge of day labouers went high for Tk 700 to 800 during the paddy harvesting season. Since then the mills was closed for workers crisis.
He could not pay Taka six lakh to the mills against monthly rent and electricity bills for another Taka 92,000 till June this year.
He also could not pay Taka 500,000 lakh to the workers who ensured production in the mills in past few months.
He said that he has been trying to manage several lakh Taka for the mills within a few weeks so that the mills could ensure production and job position for a several hundred people. Narayan Chandra Saha, assistant manager (technical) of Magura Textile Mills Limited, said that the mills was producing fine quality. Now the mills is heading with a load for Taka 60.63 lakh as arrear electricity bills with surcharge till June this year.
BTMC has been spending Tk 2.86 lakh for administrative purposes of the mills every month.
The assistant manager said the mills might play role in providing job opportunity for hundreds of people and socio-economic uplift in the area if it could be run smoothly.