JS panel asks govt to shift tanneries by June 30Staff Correspondent
A parliamentary standing committee on Thursday asked the ministry of environment and forests to relocate the tanneries at Hazaribagh in the city to Savar by June 30.
It also asked for legal action against any tannery failing to comply.
The committee on the ministry of environment and forests at a meeting set the deadline after reviewing the environment situation at Hazaribagh in the Old Town of the city.
Committee chairman Abdul Momin Talukder later told reporters that the government created environment-friendly infrastructure for the tanners at Savar but they were not relocating the factories on this or that excuse.
‘We asked the ministry to ensure relocation of the factories by June 30,’he said.
Momin said the ministry officials were facing problems in relocating the factories as influential people in the country were involved with the leather industry.
‘Consultations or dialogues on environmental pollution took place for too long but no action has been taken. If the government sincerely wants, the factories could be relocated easily,’ he said.
The ministry informed the committee that the tanners were not shifting their factories to Savar though the government allotted them alternative plots with necessary infrastructure.
The committee members, in response, said the tanners should be forced to relocate the factories.
The high court in 2001 ordered setting up effluent treatment plants at all the tanneries and in June 2009 ordered relocation of them by February 2010. Since then the factory owners were seeking extension of the deadline and the court granted them.
Green activists have been holding demonstrations for immediate relocation of tanneries to save the Buriganga river from pollution.
They described tannery wastes as the major polluter of the river.
They said around 21,000 cubic metre of untreated wastes was being discharged into the river each day.
The deadline of relocating the tanneries was extended from 2003 till June, 2012, but a central effluent treatment plant has not been set up yet, they said.
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