There’s just a day left for the deadline to end, but most of Hazaribagh’s tanneries will not be able to shift to Savar as construction work at the new location remains incomplete.
Only 34 factories have started operating in Savar. The others are under construction.
Most factories are not likely to start production anytime soon.
Bangladesh Finished Leather, Leather Goods and Footwear Exporters Association (BFLLFE) chairman Mohiuddin Ahmed told Prothom Alo, “Industries minister Amir Hossain Amu said that no raw hide will be allowed in Hazaribagh from 1 January. We have agreed on that.”
Two associations of tannery owners informed the correspondent that the industry ministry issued a notice saying the tanneries will be relocated in December this year.
Hundreds of tanneries will probably be shut down until the factories in new tannery town are complete.
Raw hide processing will not stop in Hazaribagh factories even after relocation as certain parts of the tanning process cannot be done in Savar yet.
Tannery owners said it will take a long time for complete relocation of tanneries from Hazaribagh.
However, there was no sign of rushing to relocate the tanneries in Hazaribagh.
On a spot visit to Hazaribagh on Thursday, this correspondent found that production in tanneries is going on in full swing.
Lexco tannery and Shahjalal tannery factories are still under construction in Savar. However, their production is on at the Hazaribagh factories.
The factory buildings of Kohinoor, Anjuman, Gulshan, Capital, Bhuyuian, Ruby Leather, S&S, Ismail Leather, Asif Leather, Yousuf Leather Complex, Maijdi are all under construction.
Some other tanneries including Apex, Reliance, Bay and Dhaka Hides have progressed more in their construction works compared to others.
Reliance tannery has processed about 80 thousands raw hides since Eid-ul-Fitr in Savar, said leather technologist of the factory Sohel Rana.
The government initially took the three-year project in 2003 to set up the industrial park spending Tk 175.75 crore to relocate some 205 tanneries from Hazaribagh considering the health and environment hazards in the capital, reports news agency UNB.
However, the project cost was revised and increased by 614 per cent to Tk 1,079 crore over the decade.
*The article originally published in Prothom Alo print edition is rewritten in English by Kohinur Khyum.