Savar Tannery Estate imbroglio

Dhaka,  Fri,  22 September 2017
Published : 10 Aug 2017, 21:05:14
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Savar Tannery Estate imbroglio

If the list of uncompleted works is taken into account, the mere assumption or conjecture about timely completion of the remaining works for full-fledged operation of the relocated tannery units at the new estate at Savar is simply unacceptable. Was not there any agency to monitor and supervise the jobs at hand? Its latest situation shows that the parties involved in developing it hardly took the job seriously
The ruckus over shift of tanneries from Hazaribagh to Savar Tannery Estate has now assumed a different dimension. Sixty one out of 154 tanneries already relocated to the Savar site have been facing a number of problems. Reluctance on the part of factories at Hazaribagh to shift to Savar overshadowed the lack of readiness of the tannery estate in the new location. The new tannery estate has no solid waste management system. Called Sludge Power Generation System (SPGS), it has not even been taken up for construction yet. So, the solid waste is piling up there. An agreement with the Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) on disposal of the solid waste to Amin Bazar land filling site could not be reached on technical grounds. Even the central effluent treatment plant (CETP) is yet to be fully ready. Two of its four modules have been in operation but the rest two are under construction. Some other components are also incomplete as yet. 

What is intriguing is that the project has run out of time. After 13 years and extension of its work period several times, the limping project has failed to deliver the goods. Why blame the tanners? The implementing authorities should now look at their images in the mirror. Now the authorities have moved looking for an extension of the project's tenure that came to an end on June 30 last. The delay in submitting the application has caused a number of dislocations as well. Reportedly, they thought the remaining works would be completed in time. This is naivety at its worst. If the list of uncompleted works is taken into account, this kind of assumption or conjecture is simply unacceptable. Was not there any agency to monitor and supervise the jobs at hand? 

It now becomes clear from the latest situation of the tannery estate at Savar that the parties involved in developing it hardly took the job seriously. Once there was report that the CETP was malfunctioning to the extent that it was polluting the Dhaleswari river. Has it been stopped? The dumping of solid waste is likely to pollute the environment of the tannery estate. But it was supposed to be a modern, pollution-free industrial site depending on advanced leather technology. 

Now the plan is to begin the second phase of Savar Tannery Estate on another 200 acres of land. It is not clear if the land was acquired at the same time or it will be an extension of the project. The tannery estate on 200 acres already established has not been able to accommodate the 154 factories from Hazaribagh. Reportedly, the left-out units will get allocation of plots there. Also 10-15 tanneries from outside of Dhaka will be allocated plots there. All this, however, depends on condition that the project get a new lease of life. The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) will have to approve it first. A considerably lengthy process, indeed! Meanwhile, officers and employees of the project did not get their salaries for the month of July amid the fracas.    
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