Finally PM gets in on tannery relocation

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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina touches a plant showcased at the National Tree Fair 2016 in Dhaka today, organised marking the World Environment Day. Photo: PID

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has expressed displeasure over the delay in relocating the leather processing factories from the Hazaribagh area of Dhaka city to a specialised tannery estate in Savar located in the outskirt of the capital city.

“We don’t know why they’re delaying. This is not fair,” she told a programme in Dhaka today, marking the World Environment Day.

The government has established the tannery estate with an effluent treatment plant (ETP) to facilitate relocation of the tanneries, which were polluting the environment of Hazaribagh and waters of Buriganga River by discharging chemicals and other industrial wastes.

Tannery wastes flowing with water through the drain from Hazaribagh to Buriganga River
Tannery wastes flowing with water through the drain from Hazaribagh to Buriganga River

The tannery owners, however, have so far showed lack of their unwillingness to relocate.

The PM pointed out the facilities like setting up of the ETP and expressed her surprise by saying, “but the tanners are making unnecessary delay.”

The government notified the entrepreneurs several times while different courts of law in different verdicts asked them to shift.

In a latest verdict on July 18, the Supreme Court issued an order to shift the factories (as many as 154) or face a penalty of Tk10,000 per day.

“The owners are delaying by resorting to tricks,” said the Prime Minister. “There shouldn’t be delay any more.”

She said the quicker the tanneries to be relocated the faster the environment of Hazaribagh and adjacent areas will improve.

Environment and Forests Minister Anwar Hossain Manju, Deputy Minister Abdullah Al Islam Jakob, Secretary Dr. Kamal Uddin Ahmed, Director General of the Department of Environment Md Raisul Alam Mondal and Chief Conservator of Forests Md. Yunus Ali also spoke.


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