Savar leather estate in sorry state
Desk Report: Tanners of Savar leather estate fear that they may suffer a serious setback in dealing with rawhide this season as the country’s largest tannery hub is still in a sorry state, reports Daily Sun.
Although the peak leather season is approaching nearer during Eid-ul-Adha, there are different problems in the management of rawhide in the tannery estate.
The newly-installed tannery site still remains in a haphazard condition. The partial functioning of Central Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) is the major problem for their business. These problems will affect rawhide collection this season.
The partial CEPT operation, the dilapidated condition of entire site areas, disruption to transportation of hides and skins, lack of a solid waste dumping station and compliance issues have pushed the leather sector into troubles.
The approach roads in front of the tannery site are not capable of taking the load of thousands of rawhide-laden trucks while the roads inside the entire tannery estate are very dilapidated and also flooded with filthy water.
Talking to the daily sun, many tanners said they are in a deep crisis over a messy condition of the tannery site and compliance issues, as the CETP is yet to become fully functional.
They also fear that the existing problem in the leather industries may go deep further during Eid-ul-Azha, the peak season of rawhides.
Sources at the BSCIC, the implementing agency of the tannery project, said that 114, out of 155, tannery units are now fully functioning in Savar Leather Estate.
Tanners in Savar area have set a target of collecting 70 lakh rawhides during the Eid season. They fear that it may not possible to manage the volume for many problems, especially for a fund crisis.
“The condition of approach roads and roads inside the leather estate are in a very bad shape that is taking toll on tannery owners. We are losing buyers due to the messy condition of this estate”, said Shakhawat Ullah, general secretary of Bangladesh Tanners Association (BTA).
He also said although they set a target for rawhide collection, but many tanners are not interested to buy rawhides enough this year as they could not sell the hides collected last year.
Mahfuz Ahmed, manager of City Tannery, said they will not buy that much rawhides this year as have 40 percent last year’s hides in their stock.
Tannery business is going through a very bad situation. The number of Chinese buyers exporting leather from Bangladesh has decreased as they are facing tariff barriers in the USA market that also hits Bangladeshi suppliers, he said.
Waste from the tannery industries is the major task for entrepreneurs of this sector and the government pushed tanners into relocating their units from Hazaribagh to Savar.
Right now, waste management in Savar is the biggest challenge for tanners as the CETP is still not functioning fully, sources said.
Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC) gave the Chinese company Jiangsu Lingzhi Environmental Protection Co. Ltd the job for establishing the CETP.
The company has been dillydallying in completing the task from the very beginning and the government has given them seven deadlines for completing the CETP in Savar.
The government extended its last deadline to this Chinese company to complete the job by July 28 last, and BSCIC officials claim that they have completed the CETP construction and will be fully functional this Eid season.
Tanners said they still have to dump solid waste to a pond in the tannery estate area. The dumping waste is flowing to Daleswari river.
They also said that due to this problem, tanners are not getting compliance certificates from the leather working group which is hampering the total export.
“We have shifted to Savar that cost us around Tk 4,000 crore. During this period, we have lost so many buyers due to the compliance issue and we are still not getting them back,” Shakhawat added.
Last year, 1.4 crore animals were slaughtered — 45.29 lakh cows and buffalos and 58.91 lakh goats and sheep. This year, 1.16 crore animals might be sacrificed.