Unnecessary delay in tannery relocation irks PM

Dhaka – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday expressed displeasure over the unnecessary delay in relocating tanneries from the city’s Hazaribagh area by their owners although the government has provided them with various facilities at Savar.
“We don’t know why they’re delaying (in relocating tanneries), this is not fair,” she said.
The Prime Minister was speaking at a programme held at Krishibid Institution, Bangladesh here marking ‘The National Tree Plantation Campaign and Tree Fair 2016’ and ‘World Environment Day and Environmemt Fair-2016’.

She said the government has established a tannery estate at Savar for the relocation of tanneries from Hazaribagh. “We’ve also arranged waste treatment facilities there, but the tanners are making unnecessary delay,” said an irked Prime Minister.
Although the government asked them several times to shift their factories to Savar, the owners are delaying unnecessarily resorting to tricks, the Prime Minister said adding, “We don’t know; why are they delaying? But there shouldn’t be any delay.”
Hasina said the quicker the tannery owners relocate their factories the faster the environment of Hazaribagh and adjacent areas will improve.
The Supreme Court has ordered each of the 154 tannery owners at Hazaribagh to pay the government Tk 10,000 a day as fine for not relocating their factories to the tannery estate at Savar within the given time.
The court also ordered the government to donate 50 per cent of the fine to National Liver Foundation of Bangladesh.
Earlier on June 28, the Supreme Court stayed till 17 July its earlier order that penalised 154 Hazaribagh-based tanneries for not relocating to the Tannery Estate within the stipulated time after Bangladesh Tanners Association (BTA) filed an appeal with the Supreme Court seeking a stay on the High Court order.
On 16 June, the High Court directed 154 tannery owners at Hazaribagh to pay the fine of Tk 50,000 each per day to the government as the Industries Ministry submitted a report to the HC mentioning that a total of 154 tanneries were yet to be shifted to the designated site in Savar.
Following the report, the High Court said each of the 154 tannery owners will have to pay Tk 50,000 as fine every day until the relocation of their factories to Savar.
Earlier on April 1, the government suspended rawhide supply to Hazaribagh tanneries as the tanners had failed to meet the March 31 deadline, the latest in a line of several such deadlines missed in the past.
The government then again extended the March 31 deadline till April 10 following a request from the Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC), the implementing agency of the tannery estate project.