Government signs another deal for Savar relocation
Published:  14 October, 2013

Representatives of the Bangladesh government signed on October 13 a deal with two tannery associations to speed up the relocation process of the hazardous tanneries from the capital’s Hazaribagh to Savar.
The relocation process would be completed by December next year, said Industries Minister Dilip Barua. “Construction of a central effluent treatment plant [CETP] for the tanneries will also be completed by then.”


The CETP would ensure compliance with environment waste management regulations and minimise negative health consequences on workers and residents, he added. 
Barua was speaking at a programme at the city’s Ruposhi Bangla Hotel where Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation, Bangladesh Tanners Association (BTA) and Bangladesh Finished Leather, Leather Goods and Footwear Exporters’ Association signed the deal.


The contractor for the industrial estate would complete the additional work related to its commissioning, stabilisation, staff training and operations by June 2016, he stated.


The new industrial area for the tanneries will attract more foreign buyers who want to increase their sourcing from Bangladesh it is hoped.
The delay in relocation had been affecting the city’s environment and was a threat to the country’s leather and leather goods sector, said Shaheen Ahmed, president of the BTA.
Compliance is important for boosting exports of leather and leather goods, as international buyers want to pay compliant factories for their products, he said, adding that most of the factories in Hazaribagh are not fully compliant.


The sector exported products worth $980.67 million in 2012-13, up 28.2% from the previous year, according to the data from the Export Promotion Bureau.
“We can expect the $1 billion industry to be one of $5 billion in future if we can relocate the industry soon to Savar, where most of the factories will be compliant,” the BTA President said.
The industries ministry has already allocated more than 205 plots on 200 acres of land in Savar to the 155 tanneries, but there is no plot for the chemical suppliers to the tanneries, he noted. 
Abdul Hye, general secretary of the BTA, said, “A policy should be formed to help us complete the relocation process by solving the issues related to the mortgages we have so far taken.
“The government should arrange soft loans for us to complete the relocation process smoothly.”
The tanneries in Hazaribagh emit daily about 21,600 cubic metres of environmentally hazardous toxic waste, including chromium, sulphur and ammonium, according to the Department of Environment.

Source: The Daily Star Bangladesh