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Tannery owners-workers hold black flag procession

  • Published at 06:51 am April 12th, 2017
  • Last updated at 07:00 am April 12th, 2017
Tannery owners-workers hold black flag procession
Tannery owners and workers on Wednesday brought out a black flag procession in Dhaka's Hazaribagh area demanding implementation of their nine-point demands. Hundreds of workers, mostly female workers, joined the pre-scheduled procession, reports Bangla Tribune. The tanners and workers brought out the procession around 11:30am from Hazaribagh that ended at same place after parading Jhigatola in Dhanmondi. The participating workers demanded the implementation of their nine-point demands. They also demanded speedy utility connection to Savar Tannery Industrial Estate; establishment of houses, school, college and hospital for workers in Savar; and compensation for all workers including their salary and allowances. Leaders from Bangladesh Finished Leather, Leather Goods and Footwear Exporters Association (BFLLGFEA), and Bangladesh Tanners Association attended the procession. On March 12, the Supreme Court upheld a High Court order that asked the government to shut down all 154 tanneries in Hazaribagh, Dhaka, and cut off their utility connections immediately. In keeping with the Supreme Court order, the Department of Environment (DoE) on April 8 cut off the utility connections of power, water and gas at Hazaribagh tanneries. The Supreme Court on April 9 ordered the authorities concerned to provide utility services – gas, water and electricity – to the newly relocated tanneries within 15 days of receiving the Supreme Court’s order. The apex court also waived off Tk30.8 crore fines on Hazaribagh tanneries and asked them to pay the one-time fine of Tk 50,000 each. In 2001, Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA) filed public interest litigation (PIL) with the High Court, seeking an order for relocation of tanneries from Hazaribagh. Following the PIL, the High Court directed tannery owners to relocate their business. In 2003 the government then allocated over 200 acres of land in Savar to build the Leather Industrial Park for the tanneries to relocated to, at the cost of Tk175 crore which in 2016 stood at Tk1078 crore. In 2009 the High Court once again directed the tanneries to relocate by 2010 which was later extended to 2011. On July 2016, the High Court ordered each factory to pay Tk10,000 daily as compensation for not relocating.
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