Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu on Sunday said the leather industries must be shifted to their new location in Savar immediately as the government has taken a firm stance not to allow those at Hazaribagh anymore.
"We can't allow leather industries to be there (at Hazaribahh) anymore, endangering the lives of crores of people. We can't allow crores of people to die because of them," he said.
The minister was addressing the inaugural function of the 4th Nation SME Fair at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the city.
Amu said the site in the new leather estate in Savar is fully ready to provide all kinds of facilities, like gas and electricity, to the tanneries.
He harshly criticised some newspapers for siding with the leather industry owners. "These newspapers once were against the leather industries, as those are causing pollution to the Buriganga River. But now what has happened to them! They're highlighting that rawhides are getting perished!" he asked.
Amu said these tanneries have been contaminating the Buriganga River for decades. "Millions of people have been the victims of this industrial pollution, but these newspapers had never showed the pictures of these victims," he said.
With SME Foundation chairman KM Habibullah in the chair, the function was addressed, among others by, State Minister for Finance and Planning Abdul Mannan, FBCCI president Abdul Motlub Ahmed and SME Foundation Managing Director Safiqul Iskam.
The FME Foundation organised the 5-day SME fair which is open to visitors from 10am to 8pm every day.
About 200 local firms are taking part in the SME fair. ?UNB