Bangladesh Government has appointed 60 engineers to expedite the readymade garment factory remediation works under the Remediation Coordination Cell. With the appointment, the RCC would be stronger and the factory remediation works would be expedited,’ the Inspector General of the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments, Md. Shamsuzzaman Bhuiyan said. He said the newly appointed engineers would be trained under the arrangement of International Labour Organisation and then they would start their works. The 60 engineers were recruited for one year and mainly they would be engaged to complete the remediation of the RMG factories inspected under national initiative, Shamsuzzaman said. Following the Rana Plaza Building collapse in April 2013 that killed more than 1,100 people, a total of 3,780 garment factories were assessed under the three initiatives: European retailer platform Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, North American buyers’ platform Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety and the government lead and ILO supported national initiative.

About 85 per cent and 89 per cent remediation works were completed in Accord and Alliance listed factories. Out of 3,780 garment factories, 1,549 were inspected under the national initiative, from which 573 were closed down, 79 relocated and 130 units were shifted to the Accord and Alliance lists. Currently, the DIFE monitors remediation works in 755 factories through the ‘remediation coordination cell’ formed in May last year. Out of 755 factories, a total of 165 units are yet to start remediation work, while 192 factories made progress below 20 per cent. The DIFE inspector general said that ILO was supposed to provide technical support to the RCC for completing remediation but the organisation was delayed. Due to the delay of the ILO the Labour Ministry had decided to strengthen RCC with its own fund and places a project proposal to the Finance Ministry. In the month of April the Labour Ministry started the process to recruit 60 engineers for one year as the Finance Ministry agreed to allocate Tk 8 cr for salaries and other allowances of the engineers.

Firstly, the engineers would start their work to remediate factories under national initiative and in the meantime 47 more engineers would join the RCC as ILO started recruiting process of the manpower to support RRC and then the government would take decision whether the Accord and Alliance listed factories would be taken over by the cell, Shamsuzzaman said. As per the government decision the Accord and Alliance would hand over their safety monitoring responsibility to a national body by December this year and the RCC would be enough strong by this time, he said. If the RCC takes over the responsibility and if any remediation work remains pending the RCC engineers would carry out the pending work, the DIFE chief said. If necessary the government would extend the tenure of the recruited engineers to the RCC, he added.