Owners ready to sign deal to relocate tanneries
Tannery owners are set to sign a deal with the government for relocating the hazardous tanneries from the capital's Hazaribagh to Savar in two weeks.
The deal will be signed with Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC), according to a decision taken at a meeting hosted by the shipping ministry yesterday.
“We are ready to sign the deal whenever BSCIC wants,” Md Abdul Hai, general secretary of Bangladesh Tanners Association, told The Daily Star.
Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan also asked the tannery owners to submit the layouts of their factories to be built in Savar to BSCIC in two months.
The industries ministry has already allocated more than 205 plots on 200 acres to 155 tannery owners through the BSCIC, a wing of the industries ministry.
The project, which took off in 2003 with an approximate cost of Tk 175.75 crore, met a dead end over decisions of who would bear the lion's share of the costs and get the contract of a central effluent treatment plant.
Initially, it was planned that the 155 tanneries would finance 60 percent of the costs and the government the rest.
Recently, it has been decided that the government would bear 80 percent of the core project cost of Tk 829 crore, as per the second revised proposal passed by the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council last month.
Since its launch, the total project cost has spiralled manifold to Tk 1,079 crore, including Tk 250 crore in compensations to be paid by the government to the tanneries.
The government now intends to complete the relocation by 2016.