The environment ministry is set to implement a parliamentary body's recommendation to shut down the Savar Tannery Industrial Estate in Hemayetpur as the industrial zone lacks adequate waste treatment facilities.
The ministry on Thursday sent a letter to the chairman of Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC) asking why the estate will not be closed. BSCIC's reply is expected on 20 September.
The parliamentary standing committee on the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change on August 23 recommended shutting down the Savar Tannery Industrial Estate in Hemayetpur due to lack of adequate facilities to treat all liquid waste generated by the tanners.
"The Tannery Industrial Estate has the capacity to treat around 25,000 cubic metres of liquid waste every day, but the tanners generate around 40,000 cubic metres of liquid waste per day. That means 15,000 cubic metres are dumped into the [Dhaleshwari] river without any treatment, causing severe pollution," Saber Hossain Chowdhury, chief of the parliamentary watchdog, told reporters.
The committee has also recommended against renewing the annual environmental clearance required to operate the tannery.
In 2003, the government had taken the initiative to build the Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industry Corporation (BSCIC) Tannery Industrial Estate on 200 acres at Hemayetpur after moving all tanneries from the capital's Hazaribagh in order to prevent environmental pollution and to protect the Buriganga.