Home Business Savar Tannery Estate project seeks two-year extension

Savar Tannery Estate project seeks two-year extension

The Savar Tannery Estate project has sought two years of extension to develop the facilities remained to be completed as its tenure expired on June 30 this year.Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC), the implementing agency of the project, submitted the extension proposal last week to the relevant authorities, according BSCIC sources.The project continued for around 13 years till June 30, but left incomplete many components, including the central effluent treatment plant (CETP).The tanners also stressed the need for the extension as the CETP remained incomplete.Bangladesh Tanners Association president Md. Shaheen Ahmed said two modules of the CETP were in operation, but the construction works of the remaining two are yet to be completed.Some 60-70 factories already relocated to Savar, but only two modules would not be enough to manage the wastes when all the factories will be there, he said.He also said the construction of solid waste management system, Sludge Power Generation System (SPGS), fire service and, development of adjacent roads and many other things yet to be done.”The authority must complete everything as per the agreement signed between the tanners and the estate project,” he added.  BTA secretary Shakhawat Ullah said the solid waste is being dumped inside the project area for the time being. “It just cannot be continued for such a large project.”The estate authority was expecting to sign an agreement with Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) for dumping solid waste of tanneries at Amin Bazar landfill for the time-being as setting up of a sludge-based power plant for managing solid wastes would take two more years. They could not sign the agreement due to expiry of their tenure.Meanwhile, officials said the extension of the project’s tenure would take few months as it would have to be approved by the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC).”The proposal will be placed before the ECNEC meeting soon,” said one of them.The officials alleged that the BSCIC and the project authority did not apply for the extension timely as they thought the remaining works would be completed timely.Contacted, project director Ziaul Haque refused to talk about it.The officials said the project office staffs and officers did not get their salaries for the month of July, as a result, while they would have to wait for the salaries until the extension is approved.According to the proposal, the expenditure of the project would not increase as there were only some reshuffling proposals — creation of some new positions and provision for promotion. None of the estate officers got promotion in last 13 years.The estate office has only 16 positions, but currently it has a total manpower of 12 as four fell vacant. The tannery project was first approved by the ECNEC on August 16, 2003 on 200 acres of land at a cost of Tk 2.5 billion. The work was to be completed by 2005.The project was amended and extended up to 2010 for the second time. The tenure of the project was again extended to 2012. The final approval came in 2013 at a cost of Tk 10.79 billion.Only 61 tannery units, out of total 154, have been relocated from Hazaribagh in the capital and started production at the estate, estate officials said.BSCIC is planning to begin second phase of Savar Tannery Estate on 200 acres of land at a cost of around Tk 30 billion to accommodate the left-out tanneries in the first phase, supporting businesses, foreign entrepreneurs as well as the leather goods manufacturers.A BSCIC official involved with the second phase project said they will launch the new project officially, following relocation of maximum number of tanneries to Savar from Hazaribagh.According to the plans for second phase, the authority will create 300 plots on 200 acres of land, bordering the existing tannery estate in Savar.The plots will be allocated to 30-35 tanners who did not get plot in the first phase, 60-70 other plots to the leather goods manufacturers, support linkage sectors will get 40 plots while 10-15 more tanneries may relocate from outside the capital city.The second phase of Savar Tannery Estate will also accommodate vocational training institute, research center, large multi-storied building to showcase leather goods, playground, mosque etc.

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