Industrialists come up with investment plans and the government, as a stimulating body, extends policy support and very often offers financial backing for the promotion of the production sector. The relationship between them is complementary. This has been the case in all sectors of production, and trade and commerce. But the tannery sector now displays a sort of deviation from this usual and expected course. Relocation of the tannery factories to the designated site at Savar has, of late, turned into an unpleasant issue between the government and the tannery owners.
The government is determined to relocate the factories to save Hazaribagh, its adjoining areas and the river Buriganga from massive pollution caused by untreated effluent discharged by about 200 tanneries. And the factory owners are no less adamant; they show no sign of obeying deadlines of shifting the factories. After owners failed to go by the latest deadline, the government has resorted to the harsh measure like stopping supply of rawhide to the factories. This unwarranted turn of event is the last that the country’s economic interest welcomes.
Up till now, the tannery owners based their argument in support of their non-compliance of the government decision mainly on lack or incompletion of the central effluent treatment plant at the new industrial park. But, as the CETP has become partially operative since January, they accuse that they have not been given sufficient time for the relocation. However, such an argument is simply distortion of fact and purely misleading. Fifteen years since the High Court ordered for the relocation was more than sufficient for the job.
The HC order for the relocation of the tannery factories and the government efforts in that direction are for checking further deterioration of the environment in the Hazaribagh area. There is no scope of backtracking from the objective, no matter how much pressure tannery owners exert. Tannery owners should realise the urgency of factory relocation and act accordingly, and as quickly as possible.