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Green tannery park at Savar

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06th-Sep-2017       
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QUOTING environmentalists, a national daily reported that hope for the green tannery industrial park at Savar on the outskirts of Dhaka has been fading as pollution from the leather factories are continuing even after the relocation from Hazaribagh. It is anticipated that pollution from the newly operating tannery would be multiplied after the forthcoming Eid-ul-Azha as the central effluent treatment plant (ETP) and other related facilities are yet to be fully installed. Nowadays, roughly 12,000 cubic meters of untreated effluents from 67 tannery factories is dumped into the Dhaleshwari River every day. Following the outcry from environmentalists and people in general for polluting Buriganga and adjacent areas, the tannery was relocated finally in April but the thriving industry at Savar is polluting the adjacent Dhaleshwari, a sad saga indeed. It is not right in any sense to save Buriganga at the cost of Dhaleshwari.

Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation has been implementing the project for the second highest foreign currency earning industry of the country since 2003 for relocating 155 Hazaribagh tanneries as they polluted the capital.  It is a matter of concern that untreated effluent disposal into the Dhaleshwari River would increase on the occasion of Eid-ul-Azha. The problem became acute also due to the authorities' failure to install a common chrome recovery unit, a sewage treatment plant, and a solid waste management plant though the deadline was extended again and again.

It is disastrous that the project plan did not address the park's drainage system properly and also lacked facilities, including hospital, school, and residence, for the workers. The High Court Division on Wednesday summoned the Chinese CETP contractor Jiangsu Lingzhi Environmental Protection Co Ltd and its Bangladesh agent following allegations that untreated tannery effluents were being released into the Dhaleshwari River and asked them to explain their failure. If the government takes proper initiatives now, pollution may be reduced, but it will not stop. We call the government to take the project as a challenge to turn it a green tannery and protect the Dhaleshwari from further pollution.

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