THE demand of the tanners for the reopening of the tanneries at Hazaribagh if utility services cannot be put in place at the Leather Industrial Park at Savar by the 15-day deadline, illogical though, calls out the government on putting in more efforts and doing a lot more. The foremost among them is not to bow down to the pressure of the tanners, who appear to trying to blackmail the government into allowing them to do what they have done all these years — polluting the water of the River Buriganga and the environment along both the river banks. Besides, the move for the relocation of the tanneries, which had run at Hazaribagh since the 1960s, has taken place since 2003 when the Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation on a High Court order of 2001 took up a two-year relocation project before finally rolling towards a meaningful relocation as the relevant authorities on a court order of early March severed electric and gas supply connections to the tanneries at Hazaribagh in the first week of April. There seems to be no reason at all for the process to roll back.
Earlier report says that not even a half of the tanneries have set up any structure in the Leather Industrial Park. Without having the plan approved and without laying the foundation for the structures, it is not possible for the government to lay out connections of all utility services there. The tanners, furthermore, came up with the claim that the central effluent treatment plant in the park had not been properly constructed. A mid-April report of New Age, however, says that two of the CETP modules have already been constructed and work on the third the fourth is going on. While there are negligence on part of the government, or relevant agencies, towards project completion, which the government should earnestly look into, the tanners themselves are no less responsible for such a situation as they were unwilling, in the first place, to move to Savar from Hazaribagh and showed various excuses to delay the process. The tanners, who have been an integral part of the delay in the relocation process, are now coming up with a threat of a movement. If they had extended cooperation and had not showed lame excuses all these years, they could have by now well settled in the Savar leather park, happily running their business. It appears that they are just trying to avoid the mandatory waste certification process and wrest out some more illogical facilities.
While the demand of the tanners is illogical, the government is not well ensconced in the process either. The dump meant for solid tannery waste management has not been completed as yet. The government, therefore, put in more efforts and the tanners extend cooperation to achieve the goal the long process has aimed for. But there is not getting back at square one.
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from Editorial