January 31, 2017 - 5:38pm
Most of the tannery owners have failed to shift their wet blue processing plants to Savar Leather Industrial Park as deadline expires today.
According to Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industry Corporation (BSCIC) officials, only 43 tanneries have so far relocated their wet blue processing plants to Savar and started production there as of yesterday.
On the expiry of December 31 deadline, the government extended it until January 31 for relocation of plants to Savar from Hazaribagh area in Dhaka.
The government also stated that the tannery relocation process will have to complete by March 31.
“The government will go for taking tougher actions against the tannery owners, who failed to shift their wet blue processing plants to Savar and start production there,” said Senior Secretary of Industry Ministry Md Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan while talking to the Dhaka Tribune.
Besides, the default tannery owners may also face cancellation of plot allocated for them to relocate their factories, he added.
During a field visit to the Leather Industrial Park at Savar, the Dhaka Tribune found that about 30 factories have started blue wet processing there but they are yet to begin full-fledged production.
The project director, however, claimed that 43 tanneries have started their production while a good number of tanneries are very close to complete their building construction.
“In the estate, already 42 tanneries have started production partially, not in full-swing,” Assistant Engineering of the project Moinuddin Ahmed told the Dhaka Tribune.
However, the construction work of 120 tanneries is very close to be completed and they will be able to start processing very soon while construction of 32 factories are still on progress, observed Ahmed.
He also mentioned that the government has already canceled plots allocation of the two tanneries as they have failed to begin the construction work.
“Tannery owners are very active in accomplishing their relocation process within the deadline and working very fast,” Md Shaheen Ahamed, chairman of Bangladesh Tanners Association (BTA), told the Dhaka Tribune.
Ahmed, however, said: “I think that it won’t be possible to complete the entire relocation by March deadline as some tanners might need some more time up to May.”
He argued that it takes more time to harden the pillars, roof and other area of the building before completing the construction work.
Talking on the wet blue processing, Ahmed said: “40 tanners have started we blue processing here and the number is increasing day by day.”
The Ministry of Industries decided to transfer the tanneries from their current location at Hazaribagh amid pressure from the rights groups, environmental activists and buyers because of their hazardous effects on public health and environment.
It allocated plots to 155 tannery owners through Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industry Corporation (BSCIC) at the Leather Industrial Park established on a 200-acre land at Savar.