It has been five months since rawhide processing was suspended in Hazaribagh, but the area is yet to be rid of tannery waste.
The bulk of the waste has remained there for the last five months as no authority has taken any initiative for their disposal.
Besides, new waste is making ways to the open spaces as some leather factories have resumed producing finished leather goods in the area, apparently without any planned waste disposal.
Residents of Hazaribagh area have complained that the older tannery wastes have started decomposing in the rain water and spread bad odour all the time.
New waste is also showing up on the roadside and ditches as the factories that have resumed production are disposing the waste everywhere in a haphazard manner, they added.
Asked about the waste disposal from Hazaribagh, Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) Chief Executive Officer Belal Hossain said: “The waste in Hazaribagh is mainly industrial waste. One is not allowed to dump this waste anywhere. It is the factory owners who were required to arrange for the disposal of the waste. The city corporation mainly cleans household waste.”
During visits to the area on Wednesday and Thursday, the Bangla Tribune correspondent discovered stacks of rawhide waste lying on the roadside at several points on the way from Hazaribagh Bazar to Beribadh.
Some factories were also in operation. The employees and workers claimed that after the wholesale snapping of the power supply to the tanneries on April 8, the authorities had permitted some of the factories to get the power supply back two months later for resuming the production on some conditions.
Contacted, Bangladesh Tanners Association (BTA) President Shaheen Ahmed said: “Although the connections (gas, electricity line) were cut off on April 8, we received a High Court order the next day that said pollution-free factories can go on with production. Later, we got the power supply back through the Department of Environment (DoE), for pollution-free work.”
DoE Assistant Director Saiful Ashraf said: “Power connection has been given only to those factories that can operate without creating pollution.”
In keeping with a Supreme Court order, the Department of Environment (DoE) cut off the power, water and gas connections to Hazaribagh tanneries on April 8. The tannery units are being relocated to the Savar Tannery Estate.
This article was first published on banglatribune.com