“Tanners may even face shutdown if they do not relocate their units by December and start production in March next year,” Tannery Estate project director (PD) Sirajul Haider said while speaking as chief guest at a seminar in the city.

The Bangladesh Tannery Association (BTA) and Leather Sector Business Promotion Council jointly organised the seminar titled, “The importance of tannery relocation and exploring new markets for leather products”.

Institute of Leather Engineering and Technology lecturer Nur Mohammad and Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) Deputy Director.

The project director said the tanners still had the government, the court, buyers and the people of Bangladesh beside them. If they did not relocate, nobody would be with them and the industry would be closed.

He said that 149 tanneries had submitted building plans to the estate authorities of which, 147 have been approved.

Recalling the European Union (EU) warning, Sirajul Haider said Bangladesh would lose the European market if they (tanners) did not start environmentally compliant production by the end of 2014.

He said the government had built the water treatment plant two years ago and the construction of the central effluent treatment plant was underway, but if the tanners did not relocate the authorities could not examine the plants as to whether they worked properly or not.