More than 300 factories, especially textile, spinning and garment industries in Kanchpur, Narayanganj and Narsingdi have been facing a massive production loss every day because of a disruption in gas supply since March 13.
The sufferers also include steel mills and glassware factories.
Industry owners feared that they might face the cancellation of work orders from international retailers and brands or expensive air shipment because of the sudden disruption in the gas supply.
"When there is full pressure of gas, I can produce two lakh yards of fabrics every day. Now I can produce only 20 per cent of that by using alternative energy, which is very expensive for me," said Azahar Khan, chairman of Mithela Textile Industries Ltd in Araihazar of Narayanganj.
Md Saleudh Zaman Khan, managing director of NZ Textiles Ltd, a spinning mill at Bhulta in Narayanganj, said the production at his mills had fallen to 50 per cent since March 13 because of the low pressure of gas.
The spinning mill has a capacity of producing 100 tonnes of yarn every day. The factory employs 6,000 workers.
"But half of the workers have been sitting idle during the peak season," Zaman Khan said.
As the production of the factories has dropped, they are under pressure to deliver goods in line with the promised deadline.
"My buyers are demanding air shipments of goods so that they can sell them on time," Azahar Khan said.
Zaman also complained that his European and American buyers were demanding air shipment for timely delivery of goods.
But air shipment is very expensive for any exporter, and it is an additional burden for the manufacturers whose businesses plummeted because of the lower demand in western markets owing to the pandemic.
Monsoor Ahmed, secretary of the Bangladesh Textile Mills Association, said production in at least 40 big textile mills had been affected in the largest industrial belt since March 13.
Usually, textile and spinning mills need a lot of gas pressure to produce quality products.
Ahmed said most of the mills were busy producing goods for international buyers as well as the spending season ahead of the upcoming Eid–ul-Fitr.
"If they can't produce goods on time, hundreds of factories will be in trouble, and they will miss the sales during Pahela Baishakh and Eid-ul-Fitr," he said.
According to Ahmed, there was a leak in the gas network at the Haripur point in Kanchpur area of Narayanganj on March 13.
Although state-run Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Ltd (TGTDCL) has assured of fixing the problem, the leak is yet to be repaired, Ahmed said.
At the same time, gas has been diverted to power plants from the point without supplying it to the industrial units, he said.
"We have already fixed the gas supply problem in Haripur," said Ali Iqbal Mohammad Nurullah, managing director of TGTDCL, over the phone, without elaborating.