72-hr ultimatum to move tanneries to Savar

The government made announcement to close down the tanneries if their owners fail to relocate the factories from Hazaribagh to the designated industrial park in Savar within 72 hours. Star file photo

The government will close down tanneries if their owners fail to relocate the factories from Hazaribagh in Dhaka to the designated industrial park in Savar within 72 hours, according to instructions issued by the industries minister.

Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu gave the instruction today at a meeting with Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC) at his office in Dhaka. 

He instructed BSCIC to send a legal notice to the tanneries, said a statement from the industries ministry. 

If the tanneries fail to shift their factories after 72 hours of the legal notice, the allocation of the plots they have been given in the leather industrial park in Savar will be cancelled, according to the instruction of the minister. 

The industries ministry has already allocated plots on the 200-acre leather estate in Savar to 155 tannery owners through BSCIC, a wing of the industries ministry that is implementing the project.

The High Court on March 2, 2017 directs the Hazaribagh tannery owners to deposit Tk 30.85 crore to the state fund in two weeks as they did not pay the compensation money for damaging the environment. In the photo, a steady stream of untreated toxic waste from tanneries in Hazaribagh flows towards the Buriganga River, the lifeline of the capital. Star file photo

The government has taken a number of initiatives and made investment to relocate the polluting tanneries from Hazaribagh.

The tanners will have to invest around Tk 6,000 crore to relocate the factories, set up new plants and begin commercial production. So, they have urged the government to provide long-term loans at single digit interest to expedite relocation.

There are some 195 tanneries at Hazaribagh.

They are blamed for pouring thousands of litres of untreated and highly toxic liquid waste into the Buriganga River every day, posing a serious risk to human and animal health.


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