He noted with satisfaction that the firm awarded to set up a central effluent treatment plant (CETP) has already started soil test at the project site. CETP is the main cause of the delay in relocation process.
The Minister was speaking at a seminar on ‘Relocation of Tanners – Scope and Opportunity for Green Leather Sector for Bangladesh’, jointly organised by Ministry of Industries and EU SWITCH Asia Re-tie Bangladesh Project in the city.
He asked the tanners who have been allotted plots at Savar to start the process of relocation. Dilip Barua said the government has attached priority to the development of leather sector and it has also recognized the industry as the thrust sector.
He said apart from environmental hazards, there are some issues government has time-bound for implementation of the project – relocation of the tanneries – by an order of the High Court. The developed countries had also embargoed not to take Bangladeshi leather goods after 2014 without CETP in tannery estate.
The minister said most of the development works including construction of roads, drains, boundary walls, water pipeline, fire service building, police station, deep tube well, electricity and gas lines, electricity substation, water treatment plant and administrative buildings have been completed at the proposed leather cluster.
He gave assurance to the tanners of extending project site if needs and giving compensation for the relocation.
Barua further said government will ban producing poultry feed and fooder from the tannery wastage as those are harmful to human health.
The Minister said an agreement has been signed between Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC) and JLEPCL-DCL-JV, a Chinese firm, on March 11 to establish the CETP at Savar.
In the face of demands of the locals and environmentalists, the government took a three-year relocation project titled, ‘Leather Estate Dhaka’ in 2003 at a cost of Tk 1.75 billion that later shot up to Tk 5.45 in 2007 in the revised project document.