Tanners have claimed that a delay in the relocation of tanneries in Savar could potentially cost them export orders worth Tk1,100 crore.
Leather Goods and Furnished Footwear Exporters Association (BFLLFEA) President Mohiuddin Mahmud Mahin made the statement at a press conference held at a hotel in Dhaka Sunday afternoon.
A total of 14 associations put forward a list of six demands, including a judicial inquiry against Bangladesh Small and Cottages Industry Corporation (BSCIC), for mismanagement in tannery relocation.
They also gave an ultimatum asking the government to meet their demands by April 6.
Bangladesh Tanners Association President Md Shaheen Ahmed said: “We will hold a mass rally in Savar on April 8 if our demands are not met by April 6.”
On March 30, the Supreme Court asked the owners of Hazaribagh tanneries to stop all kinds of operations there by April 6.
In July last year, the Appellate Division asked every tannery to pay Tk10,000 per day for damaging and polluting the environment.
Later, the tannery owners filed a petition with the Supreme Court seeking review of the order.
The High Court in 2001 ordered the 154 tanneries to relocate to Savar but the order was not executed. The court on June 23, 2009 again ordered the relocation to be completed within February 24, 2010.
However, the deadline was extended to April 30, 2011 at the government’s request, prompting the Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB) to move the court.
In a February 13 report, the industry secretary said that 154 tanneries had not relocated to their designated sites while another tannery had shut down.