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24th-Feb-2014

Tannery-free Hazaribagh by year-end

By STAFF REPORTER

The process of relocating tannery factories from the city's densely populated Hazaribagh area to Savar's Hemayetpur would complete by December this year.
The move to relocate tanneries from Hazaribagh to Savar is hanging in a balance for a decade due to disagreements between the concerned government departments and tannery owners over the cost of the move. "The relocation of tanneries would be complete by December this year in line with the tripartite agreement with the concerned authorities," Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu told The New Nation yesterday.
The government would ensure all facilities by this time for smooth running of the industries, he said.
The government is giving importance to green industrialisation. "So, it has undertaken the project to develop an environment-friendly tannery industrial zone,'' he added.
The project would cost Tk10.8 billion, he said, adding, Once the project is implemented it would stop pollution of the Buriganga river.
Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC) is the implementing authority of the project.
While talking to The New Nation, Project Director of Tannery Industrial Estate Anisul Haq Bhuiyan said, a total of 205 industrial plots have already been distributed among 155 tanners who are operating in Hazaribagh.
Establishment of infrastructures at the 200-acre Tannery Industrial Estate on the bank of river Dhaleshwari at Harindhara village of Tetuljhora in Savar  is nearing  completion. The plots have been prepared while construction of roads, an office of BSCIC, police outpost and power plant are underway, he said.
Bangladesh Tanners Association (BTA) President Shahin Ahmed said, as per the agreement with the BSCIC, the issue of releasing compensation fund for the factory owners is related to the relocation process.
"Yet we didn't get any financial assistance from the government. But hopefully we will get the assistance soon as the Industries Minister has given his commitment," he added.
Referring to the agreement, he said, the government will offer a compensation package worth Tk 2.5 billion to 155 factories before relocating their industries to Savar.  
Another key issue of the agreement was installation of the Central Water Treatment Plant (CETP) in the zone, which has already been completed. The installation of the CETP cost Tk 6.39 billion, which has been provided by the government.
Khandaker Shaukat Ali Khan, who is working for the CETP project, said  the construction of the plant  is complete. "It is now waiting for power connection." The plant will supply about 900,000 liters of water in the industrial estate per hour.
The plant will treat 2.5 million tones of industrial waste per day.  Bangladesh Finished Leather and Leather goods Exporters Association chairman M Abu Taher said they would try to relocate the tanneries by December this year.