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22 September, 2020 06:06:07 PM
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CETP-based Savar tannery estate management

What type of management pattern is being adopted by the Savar tannery estate is yet to be known to the concerned body involved with the tannery cluster
Jalaluddin Ahmed
CETP-based Savar tannery estate management

The age-old tannery cluster of Hazaribagh has been shifted to a newly build up environment friendly tannery estate at Savar. The new tannery estate with its new concept has been continuing its production process and productivity since its discontinuation of Hazaribagh on April, 2017. The Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) is the main component of the industrial basement at Savar Tannery Estate. The management of a CETP of this kind at its post commissioning stages involves (a) technical management and (b) financial management.
The technical management involving operation, monitoring and maintenance of the system is uniformly carried out by a technical team comprising general manager, managers of various sections, engineers, chemists and other staffs.
The financial management involves (i) collecting treatment charges as per charging structure (ii) allocating money for operation and maintenance (iii) allocating money for repairs, new additions and modifications of CETP on the basis of requirement, and (iv) liaison with regulatory agencies, public and media on CETP affairs.
What type of management pattern is being adopted by the Savar tannery estate is yet to be known to the concerned body involved with the tannery cluster. It was repeatedly highlighted through the national and electronic media by the expert groups so that the newly built-up environment friendly tannery estate can coup up with the situations in tannery operations. We have seen the production process and productivity have been continuing there at Savar since the Hazaribagh cut off in 2017, though the CETP was not functioning. Till now there is a big question of present situation of the CETP and its complete situation of operation. But who do care, listen or work behind the scene for making the estate management competent? So far it is learnt that a Company Board has been formed by the implementing agency of the government part. And it has already crossed its one year of age. But what is its outcome is still unknown. Does it take another decade on CETP commissioning? I think, Mr. Salman Fazlur Rahman’s (the honourable private industry and investment adviser to the prime minister) disappointment that he expressed several months ago that “leather sector has gone” appears to be true.
As a recognizant part of this sector I may kindly apprise the stakeholders for their further cheering up and forming such management options which are mostly adopted globally.
We have to look at the patterns and practices tried and are being used in management of tannery CETPs in various countries.

a) Management of the CETP by a company formed by the users: This is the most widely practiced system when the CETP treats exclusively tannery effluent. A public/private limited company is formed and all the member tanneries are allotted shares to become member of the company. This company elects Board of Directors, Managing Director and Chairman among themselves in a general body meeting. The Board of Directors thereafter takes charge of the administration of CETP with the MD responsible for day-to-day administration. No remuneration is generally given to board of directors and the directors would be re-elected or replaced every year.

This system is in practice with 13 CETPs in Tamil Nadu, India, one CETP in Kanpur, India. In Kolkata, the CETP is managed by a new association formed by the relocated tanneries (CLC tanners association), which can be considered as a variant of the above system. CETP in Pakistan and three CETPs in Italy are reportedly following the same practice.

The advantage of this practice is that the tanners are made directly responsible for the treatment and its charges, and economisation of operation would be optimum, and it has the maximum flexibility.

The disadvantage often experienced is that the payment is defaulted and the BoD, who does not take strict measures to collect the arrears that can result in poor financial health of the CETP. Another disadvantage is that there may be attempts to bypass the untreated waste to reduce the cost of CETP operation.

b) Management of the CETP by a company formed by the users, with limited presence of government: In certain cases, the CETP is implemented by a government agency and their presence in this management remains for a short time (say, two years). And thereafter the presence of government agency is withdrawn. Otherwise the management practice is same as above. Four CETPs implemented by a government agency in Tamil Nadu, India had its presence in the board of directors for 2-3 years and once the company stabilised, they had handed over the company and CETP to the users.

The advantage is that some initial governmental control would help to regularise the CETP operation and once its sustainability is ensured, the responsibility could be passed on to the users. Also, effective treatment could be ensured by governmental supervision with beneficial environmental protection.
The disadvantage is that the tanners may try to prolong the government presence and may try to pass on financial liabilities to the government.

c) Management of CETP by a government body: In this case a government department is often the only handling agency of water and waste water management in the city would manage the CETP. Such a system is normally instituted only when the tannery effluent is treated in combination with municipal sewage. One CETP in Kanpur, India and majority of in Italy and France are managed in this fashion.

The advantage of the system is that maximum degree of treatment could be ensured and in some cases, better technical management also. The collection of treatment charges can also be better.  The disadvantage is that the tanners often try to pass on the responsibility to such body taking over the operation and seldom carry out the mandatory pre-treatment, spoiling the system. It is possible that the government can be burdened with continuous expenditure in the CETP for long.

Recommendation for Savar Tannery Estate: As planned,
initial two years of CETP operation would be carried out by the
CETP contractor and a serious collection of charges would be
coming into force only after two years, when the installation of
tanneries would be somewhat stabilised.
As mentioned, in most part of the world, the CETPs are managed by the association of the member units through a well qualified technical team. Same pattern may be followed here.
A company or association may be formed by the tanners migrating to the estate and a Board of Director, elected by the tanners, could manage the administration of the CETP including collection of treatment charges. If the tannery associations are not confident enough to take over the management even after two years, a management committee comprising the representatives of BSCIC and tannery associations may be entrusted with the task.
The technical team for regular operation of the CETP may be recruited in the beginning of the second year operation of the CETP, so that they can be trained thoroughly in the CETP operation by the contractor’s personnel. After completion of one year working experience with the contractor’s team, the handing over of the CETP by the contractor to the recruited team would be smooth and easy. This training is a part of the scope of CETP contractor.

The CETP tender is planned in such a manner that those two years of operation of CETP with all inputs, excepting power, is built in as a part of the scope of the tendered, so that only after two years, the tanners need to share the full cost of the CETP operation. If the cost of power bill is still higher than what can be borne by the small number of tanneries, subsidizing the power to CETP may be considered depending on the situation.
After the mandatory operating period of two years by the contractor, the operation and maintenance should be taken over by the designated agency to be formed from the user’s end.

The writer is a leather industry consultant

 

 

 

 

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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