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nineteen tanneries in savar dhaka are shutting down to prevent river pollution
Bangladesh Environment Protection

Nineteen tanneries in Savar, Dhaka, are shutting down to prevent River pollution

Nineteen tanneries in Savar, Dhaka, are shutting down to prevent River pollution


Nineteen tanneries in Dhaka’s Savar tannery industry shut down due to a lack of environmental clearance and polluting the Dhaleshwari River. The decision has taken at a Ministry-related Parliamentary Committee of Bangladesh on Environment, Forest, and Climate Change meeting.

There are 141 tanneries in the tannery city of Savar. Forty thousand cubic meters of waste produce daily from these tanneries. However, the tannery state has the capacity to purify only 25 thousand cubic meters of waste. Apart from this, there is no solid waste management system.

Before shifting to Savar, these tanneries were in the Hazaribagh area of Dhaka. The tanneries dump about 21,600 cubic meters of liquid waste into the Buriganga River daily.

Apart from this, leftover animal skins have been dumped along the river banks, canals, reservoirs, and roadsides. Buriganga River was then affected by massive pollution. To solve this problem, the Ministry of Industry took up the tannery Industry City project in 2003 to displace from Dhaka Hazaribagh.

Under that project, after development, 154 tanneries have been given plots in a land of 80 hectares in Hemayetpur of Savar, Dhaka. Allegedly, the project’s Central Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) was not set up as per Internationally standards.

The tanneries owners then wanted to avoid taking up plots in Savar industrial zone because the CETP was not ready, even after being given a time frame for transferring from Dhaka to the new sites.

On April 8, 2017, tanneries were forced to vacate Hazaribagh after the disconnection of utilities’ supply lines. However, after the transfer to Savar, Dhaleswari and Banshi rivers became polluted by tannery effluents.

A parliamentary committee recommended the temporary closure of the industrial city in August 2021 due to pollution. However, that decision has yet to implement. The committee then recommended shutting down the tannery several times to stop the pollution. Nevertheless, even this did not improve the situation.

In such a situation, the parliamentary committee held a meeting with the representatives of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce and Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC) last September and decided to divide the tannery factories into three parts.

One part will consist of companies that have built their waste treatment plants. Another part would be companies that have never applied for environmental clearances, are floundering, and are unlikely to become compliant. Moreover, the other tanneries would be in the third category.

 The Parliamentary committee’s sources informed that the tanneries would have to close are, Nishat Tannery, Ibrahim Tannery, City Leather, Sabuj Corporation, MA Leather, Metro Tannery, Moon Tannery, Lien Enterprises, International Tannery, Mumtaz Tannery, Zindabad Tannery, Golden Leather, Zaman Tannery, Sahi Tannery, Falu Leather Corporation, Hitech Leather, Ismail Leather, S&S Tannery, and Zaheer Tannery.

After the meeting, Saber Hossain Chowdhury, President of the parliamentary committee, said, ”The 19 tanneries that have been decided to close, these tanneries have never applied for environmental clearance. The committee does not see any possibility of these tanneries becoming compliant. So it was decided to close. Apart from this, 19 tanneries will give temporary clearance as they fulfill the compliance conditions per the court’s instructions. Another 103 tanneries have been asked to submit a report by December 10, 2022, on the extent to which they comply with the High Court’s directives. Then a decision will be made about these tanneries. ”

The committee has also asked not to treat more than 20,000 cubic meters of daily waste.

Md. Sakhawat Ullah, General Secretary of Bangladesh Tanners Association (BTA), said, ”They still do not know anything about this decision officially. After receiving the minutes of the parliamentary committee meeting, the course of action or decision will take.

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