Tanners take rawhide to leather city
The latest deadline for relocating tanneries from Hazaribagh to Savar is just three days away and in all likelihood, most of the tanners are going to miss the deadline again.
However, at least five tanners out of the 152 have started storing up rawhide in their factories at Savar Tannery Industrial Estate.
They made the move after the government on April 1 enforced a ban on the supply of rawhide to the capital's Hazaribagh.
The government extended the deadline for relocation of tanneries to April 10 as all the tanners failed to relocate within the previous deadline of March 31.
Tanners said they could not start production in Savar as they were yet to get water and gas connections.
The government authorities, however, claimed they were ready for the test run of the central effluent treatment plant (CETP) at the tannery estate after completion of works of the drainage system.
“Although our CETP is ready, we can't operate it until at least 50 factories relocate there. This is because we need a certain volume of effluent to run the CETP. We want the tanners relocate there as soon as possible,” said Abdul Qaiyum, project director of the tannery estate under Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation.
Out of the 152 factories, only 62 have so far applied for gas connections and 30 for water. One of the tanners has already got water connection, added Qaiyum.
Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company has asked the tanners to submit 12 documents each. The documents include trade licence, tax identification number (TIN), and the layout design of the factory. The tanneries will get gas connections upon meeting the requirements, the project director said.
“Underground pipelines have already been laid for supplying gas and water to the factories. Electricity is also there,” Qaiyum said.
Visiting some factories at the industrial estate yesterday, this correspondent found that Reliance Tannery was storing rawhide at the factory.
“We have stored 1,970 pieces of rawhide in the last couple of days. We are not storing rawhide at our Hazaribagh factory any more,” said Shahidul Haq, in-charge of the factory store.
The tannery has set up its wet-blue processing unit which had a test run.
Mostafa Majumder, deputy manager of industrial estate, said some other factories, including Marson tannery, Sathi tannery, Fancy tannery, Al Madina tannery and Appex tannery, were storing rawhide at their units.
Thirty factories have so far made good progress in Savar while many others have completed foundation and piling works of their factory buildings, he added.
RAWHIDE TRADERS WORRIED
Delowar Hossain, president of rawhide traders association, said they could not sell most of the rawhide since April 1.
On a usual day, around 35,000 pieces of rawhide are produced across the country, including some 8,500 in Dhaka. But most the rawhide have been left unsold since the beginning of this month, he added.
“Some factory owners are buying and storing up rawhide in a small quantity. Traders are now preserving the unsold rawhide. If the situation remains unchanged for long, we will face a huge loss,” said a worried Delowar.