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Bangladesh - Assistance with preparation for tannery relocation from Hazaribagh to Savar

Quality and clean sustainable production is no longer a choise but a strategy requirement for a survival for the leather manufacturers.

This is also a reason for long planned and eagerly awaited tannery relocation to new Savar site.Let s return in time a recapitulate events and some milestones which on the way to vision of a new modern tannery estate Dhaka/Savar.The nearly 200 tanneries located in Hazaribagh provide approx 90% of the total leather produced and mostly exported by BGD. Leather industry provides directly and indirectly approximately 45,000 jobs. Network of tanneries and leather product manufacturing units forming the leather cluster Hazaribagh has developed during last decades without proper planning and control. Therefore the Hazaribagh district is probably most congested overcrowded and polluted part of Dhaka city.Relocation of all tanneries from Hazaribagh implemented by BSCIC to a properly designed and controlled new industrial estate in Savar is practically the only feasible solution offering safe, yet economic conditions for maintaining this important business, keep several dozen thousands of labour employed and earning much needed (for the national economy) export revenue. 

Based on UNIDO experience with pollution control in the leather industry during a preparatory assistance in 2006-2007 prepared survey and recommendations on tannery relocation of tanneries from Hazaribagh to Savar and establishing of the pollution control system.With the support of the Swedish International Development Agency and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) work began in 2005 with the preparatory assistance for the relocation of tanneries from Hazaribagh to Savar. UNIDO have provided advise to guide both public and private sector counterparts on technically correct, feasible and practical methods for relocating the tanning industry from Hazaribagh to the new Tannery Estate Dhaka (TED) Savar.

Relocation offers opportunities for the modernisation of the tanneries in the region, particularly when it comes to environmental control. The development of Savar should be much more than a relocation of the industry from Hazaribagh: it offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to place the entire export-oriented leather industry in Bangladesh firmly on the world map.

Activities implemented by UNIDO under ‘Switch Asia’ programme which is co-funded by the European Commission focuses on introduction of appropriate up-to-date technology and processes which should be adopted by tanneries and applied in new savar site.The well established new industrial estate will certainly attract international players of the global leather trade, will improve local tanneries’ and other leather products manufacturers’ economic performance and will minimize environmental hazard, provided that local managers, technicians would implement appropriate technology in Savar.This development will not happen alone and similarly as even for modern car you need driving licence also to operate tannery in 21st centaury you need to have up to date technology but mainly capable and well trained managers, technicians and operators. It is hoped that also thanks to the support provided to Bangladeshi leather producers by various organizations would result in improved environment and working conditions. Recent news and agreement regarding long awaited agreement between MoI and leather associations is positive development not only for Bangladesh but also for the whole leather sector. It is hoped that also UNIDO s effort will contribute to the goal to provide working opportunities in modern leather industrial park.

Savar - site selected for Tannery Estate Dhaka -  (2004)