The youth of Buriganga has ebbed long ago. Occupancy-pollution kills the river. But the work that started around this river, the lifeblood of Dhaka, has not stopped. Tilottama Dhaka on one bank of Buriganga, Aganagar and Shubhadhya Union of Keraniganj upazila on the other bank. In Agangar and Shubhadhya, ready-made garment factories were started on a limited scale from the eighties. It started with patching old clothes. Boats full of fake clothes used to come from far and wide on the banks of Buriganga. People in the neighborhood started their business by capitalizing on them. He lived in a small bamboo hut. Now there are big buildings. South Keraniganj, East Agangar Gudaraghat, Agangar Small Mosque, There are small and big garment factories in Charkaliganj and Khejurbagh area covering about two kilometers. More than three hundred small and big markets have been formed. There are more than 10 thousand business establishments including small and medium sized garment factories. Of these, six thousand are registered members of the owners association. Around the Eid, this large town of garment industry stays awake day and night.
For the last two years, traders have not been able to open factories and shops in Korona before Eid. Large amount of losses have been counted. The burden of debt has become heavier day by day. The dream-breaking businessmen were hoping for a better future. Finally, the good old days are over. Evidence of the ‘Eid’ going on in the clothing village was found last Thursday and Friday. Wholesalers are coming from remote areas of the country. Turns out he is buying the desired clothes. Trading is also quite. Not only the market or the shop, but also the sidewalk was not left out in this event. According to the traders, the market will be busy on the eve of Eid, that is, till the moon night. However, the number of wholesalers will decrease after 25 Ramadan.
According to traders, 70 per cent of the country’s domestic garment market is occupied by this village. About 70-80 percent of the sales are done throughout the year before this Eid. At that time, an estimated one thousand crore rupees was transacted – this is what the business leaders said.
This time not only Eid, but also the first Baishakh business was booming. Muslim Dhali, general secretary of the Keraniganj Garment Traders and Shop Owners Association, said there are about 10,000 readymade garment shops and factories in the garment village. Garments are being made in 1500 to 2000 factories on the occasion of Boishakh. According to him, readymade garments worth around Tk 10 crore have been sold in the Boishakh market this year.
Ali Akbar, owner of New Jerin Fashion at Alam Tower Market, said that 20,000 Punjabi and Fatwa have been made here keeping in mind the demand for the first Baishakh this year. All sold out. On the occasion of Eid, buyers from different regions including Barisal, Patuakhali, Chittagong, Rajshahi, Jessore, Khulna are coming, watching and buying.
However, due to lack of bank loans, there is a shortage of goods due to inability to produce as per the demand, said some traders. Mofizur Rahman, a trader at Nur Super Market, said that there were many complications in getting goods from outside. Commodity prices have also risen as the dollar has risen. Besides, the price of yarn has been higher since a year ago. As such, the price of the product increases. And there is not enough stock.
Abdur Rahman of Chowdhury Market said, the price of goods is high. Buyers are likely to call everyone who looks appropriate, if there are only a few. Shafiqul Islam, a businessman from Noakhali, said the prices of products are higher this year. I am hesitant about whether I can sell the goods at such a high price.
Each jeans pants is being sold at 150 to 400 rupees in the wholesale market of Keraniganj. However, some shops are selling good quality jeans for thousands of rupees. Apart from this, Punjabi is being sold at Rs 250-600, shirts at Rs 150-500, T-shirts at Rs 60-200, girls’ three-pieces at Rs 250-500 and lehengas at Rs 450-600.
Mamun Hossain, a trader at Keraniganj’s Zila Parishad Market, said he could not do business for the last two years because of Corona. Counting the losses, the back got stuck in the wall. This time I did not get a loan from the bank. I made a few products with the capital I had. Most of which have been sold. I can’t give product even if new demand comes.
The traders said that there are 30-32 bank branches here. But many banks were not interested in lending. More than 30 courier service companies are operating in the garment business. There are buttons, chains, lace-ribbon, yarn shop. These companies have also done good business this time. According to the Garment Dealers and Shop Owners Association, more than three lakh people have been employed here. In this garment village of Keraniganj, along with the patronage of the government, if the bank gets regular loans, it will add a new dimension to the economy in the garment sector – this is the expectation of the traders here.
Swadhin Sheikh, a garment trader and president of the Keraniganj Shop Owners’ Association, said the two-year-old quiet village was once again in full swing. Loss-making traders are starting to see a profit. This time it was possible to do better business. But in the experience of the last two years, many traders did not want to take the risk. Apart from this, the capital crisis, rising prices of cloth and yarn have also hampered the readiness of traders.
Meanwhile, the markets have developed in a very crowded environment in this unplanned garment village. The roads are narrow. With a little rain, the mud becomes soybean. Silent extortion is also happening every day. Although these factories have a special contribution in the economy of the country, there is no initiative to solve the long standing complaints of the traders and various problems including gas. Considering the potential and protecting the environment, all parties can benefit if this garment village is quickly brought under the industrial zone