Tanneries from Dhaka’s Hazaribagh area in Bangladesh may soon be moving to the newly developed Leather Industrial Estate (LIE) in Savar. The government is likely to inaugurate the LIE by September this year, ahead of the latest schedule for the relocation of 40-year old tanneries.

After missing a couple of deadlines, the government initially fixed December for completion of the project but now it plans to inaugurate the estate before handing over power to a caretaker government in October.

The LIE project was undertaken by the Ministry of Industries in 2003 to protect the capital city and the Buriganga River from pollution caused by the Hazaribagh tanneries.

The ministry recently asked the Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC), the project implementing agency, for speedy completion of the work. The authority has already started the allocation of plots for relocating the tanneries in the Hazaribagh, said Jahangir Alam, a member of Bangladesh Tanners Association (BTA) said. ‘We are likely to start shifting tanneries from the Hazaribagh area by December next’, he said.

The government is also taking the initiative to expand the 200-acre leather industrial estate by another 200 acres to provide adequate space for the relocated tanneries, he added. Some 220 tanneries in the country are releasing a large quantity of processing waste.