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Relocation of tanneries

Take action against default owners: Poba

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Green activists here on Sunday demanded the government take legal action against tannery owners if they fail to relocate their tanneries from Hazaribagh in the capital to Savar by next June, the stipulated deadline set by the authorities.
It will not be possible to introduce the central effluent treatment plant (CETP) of tanneries in Savar by June 2015 due to slow progress of construction work, and the tanneries cannot be relocated from Hazaribagh to Savar by this time anyway, they told a press conference.
After a recent visit to Hazaribagh tannery estate by its members, Poribesh Bachao Andolon (POBA) organised the press conference at its office in the capital to present the progress of tanneries' relocation work.
According to a Poba report released in March this year, about 21,000 cubic metres of untreated toxic waste is released every day from the Hazaribagh tanneries into the Buriganga River.
Reading out a written statement, Poba executive general secretary Engr Abdus Sobhan said the Hazaribagh tanneries have been polluting the water of Buriganga River, the lifeline of the city, for 65 years.
Aquatic animals have disappeared from the Buriganga as the dissolved oxygen (DO) of its water has reached almost zero level and the polluted water is also not suitable for household use or irrigation, he said.
According to a Poba report released in March 2014, about 21,000 cubic metres of untreated toxic waste is released every day from the Hazaribagh tanneries into the Buriganga River.
As the tanneries have been polluting Buriganga since 1950, Abdus Sobhan said, the country counted an environmental loss worth about Tk 2610 crore in the last 65 years.
He urged the authorities concerned to realise the amount from the tannery owners as environmental compensation as the Environment Conservation Act 1995 allows it.
Poba chairman Abu Naser Khan, Poba executive members Ifma Hossain and Tofail Ahmed, and its coordinator Atiq Morshed, among others, spoke at the press conference.

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