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Dhaka Tannery Estate at Savar to remain a mirage
22
May '08
The relocation of leather tanneries from Hazaribagh to the proposed leather estate in Savar is on a chariot put to a halt. Unless the Government and the industry owners come to terms over several issues of compensation and investment, resettlement is an unlikely possibility.

Mr Tipu Sultan, Chairman of Bangladesh Leather and Finished Goods Exporters' Association (BFLLEA) told Fibre2fashion, “Government has undertaken a project of establishing Dhaka Tannery Estate at Savar about 20 kilometers away from the city for relocation of tannery industries from Hazaribagh. It will also ensure to accommodate the new set up with all the necessary infrastructure facilities including CETP for a pollution free production on an area of 200 acres of land. It is expected that government will complete the process by the end of 2010.”

This decision to relocate the tanneries was given force on grounds that nearly 22,000 cubic meters of untreated and highly toxic liquid waste from over 200 tanneries flow through the canals into the Buriganga river which supports and sustains the nearby locality of 20,000 people. It was then that the Government took up this Tk 1750 million project to ward off such colossal environmental degradation.

However, the tannery owners have a list of demands which the Government have not approved yet. These include providing a compensation of Tk2500 million for the relocation and other facilities. This apart, they also demand establishment of a 'leather estate', an Export Processing Zone with all the facilities enjoyed by other EPZs, providing soft loans and provision for easy exit of the 'weak' tanneries from the leather industries.

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