Hazaribagh tanneries go silent as deadline for relocation ends
Faysal Atik, bdnews24.com
Published: 2017-04-07 02:18:28.0 BdST Updated: 2017-04-07 02:18:28.0 BdST
The owners of tanneries at Hazaribagh in Dhaka are preparing to 'close down business' after falling to win a court verdict, with the future the workers hanging in the balance.
The High Court's deadline for the authorities to cut off the utility lines to the tanneries in the area ended on Thursday.
The tanneries were not abuzz with activities on Thursday unlike in past few decades.
Titas Gas, WASA, police and others said they were ready to help the Department of Environment snap the gas, water, and power connections to the factories, but no such activities were seen until evening.
Moshtaq Ahmed, factory supervisor of Chinese Tannery, said they have closed the factory following the court order.
Asked what they plan to do now, he spoke about the uncertainty they are facing.
He has blamed the authorities for their 'failure to ready' the leather industrial zone in Savar for relocation of the Hazaribagh tanneries.
"We have nothing to do, but to remain jobless. It is not possible to set up the factory in Savar in this situation. Our owners repeatedly spoke about the matter but no one paid heed," he said.
"Our workers are being treated like toys...thousands have lost their job," he said.
According to Tannery Workers' Association President Abul Kalam Azad, a total of 30,000 workers are involved in the Hazaribagh tannery industry. More than 100 tanneries, including 20 big ones, are still in operation in the area.
According to the owners, around 30,000 workers depend on the Hazaribagh tanneries directly or indirectly while the number of workers in the factories moved to Savar is only 500.
The High Court issued the order on Mar 6 to save the Hazaribagh area from pollution. The owners moved the Appellate Division but failed to get the final order in their favour.
Rejecting their plea for more time, the Appellate Division said it will hear the owners only after they relocated the factories.
Earlier, the owners said they were mulling over lay-offs.
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