Kolkata, Jul 19 : The inauguration of a slew of new initiatives at the Calcutta Leather Complex (CLC) at Bantala by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee yesterday has brought in a new ray of hope in the industrial horizon of Bengal as an investment worth Rs 80,000 crore will pour in generating five lakh employment opportunities.
Christening the hub as ''Karma Diganta'', Ms Banerjee said, '' This is not only the biggest leather hub of Asia but the world’s largest leather hub. 98 per cent of the world’s leather gloves is made here. This is a unique hub. This place has a police station, fire brigade, effluent plant. Two more are coming up. Once complete, this hub will generate five lakh jobs. I am naming this hub ‘Karma Diganta’. ''
'' Once these two affluent plants are complete, five lakh jobs will be created. At the Bengal Global Business Summit, we had said two lakh jobs will be created. In reality, five lakh jobs will be created, at an investment of Rs 80,000 crore. When industries were shutting down in Kanpur, we set up new industries. This is a big achievement. As a measure of environment-friendliness, eight affluent plants are coming up, four of which will be ready by November. Rest will also be completed soon. They will generate power from leather. Bags, sandals, gloves will be manufactured from leather. World’s biggest market will be created in Kolkata, '' she informed.
'' At a time when employment opportunities are ebbing across India, we have been able to generate jobs. Since the 2016-17, two crore jobs have been lost in the country. We have been able to reduce unemployment by 40 per cent. After demonetisation, the investors of Kanpur contacted us. We have given them land at a concessional rate. ‘Karma Diganta’ is a new feather in Bengal's cap. This apart, one lakh jobs will be created at Deocha Pachami. We are also setting up Silicon Valley Hub, where we had initially allotted 100 acres of land. All the land has been booked, so we have allotted 100 acres additionally. This is a great thing for the IT industry, '' Ms Banerjee stated.
Multiple projects at the CLC will lead to a big rise in employment opportunities (both direct and indirect combined), from the current two lakh to five lakh in the near future as the Chief Minister formally allotted 70 acres for 187 new tanneries from Kolkata, Kanpur and Chennai, taking the total number of tanneries that are operational or to become so in the near future, at CLC, too close to more than 790 in the first phase.
In the second phase, the plan is to hand over plots to 250 leather goods units, according to a senior government official. Out of the 187 tannery companies being allotted plots, 28 are a big category, 97 are medium category and 62 are small category companies. Among these, 29 are from Kanpur, two from Chennai and 156 from Kolkata.
She also handed over no-objection certificate (NOC) to many tannery and leather goods units, so that they can become operational. There were 220 tannery units and 50 leather goods units which had already been allotted plots but did not get NOCs as they did not have the infrastructure for effluent discharge.
It needs to be mentioned in this connection that the government has decided to install four combined effluent treatment and sewage treatment plants to cater to the new as well as the old units. Presently there are 385 tannery units and 40 leather goods units that are operational at Bantala.
Three facilities, which were also inaugurated, are : Leather Goods Park (where leather goods units will be set up with a substantial focus on export), Tanning Training Services Centre (with NABL-accredited testing lab, design centre, footwear lab, etc. to train tannery and leather goods sector employees, through the Government Leather Teach College).
Ms Banerjee also laid the foundation stones of a Footwear Park (situated on 60 acres, to house more than 150 export-focussed units), a Common Facility Centre (CFC) for leather goods manufacturers (to support them with the latest technology, in order to enhance the capacity for export and domestic units) and the Micro Tanners’ Hub (on 10 acres, to provide ready-to-use space for tanners for direct employment), eco-friendly CFC for leather scrap burners (on 5 acres, to help them manufacture leather cards and boards) 7th and 8th common effluent treatment plants (CETP) (on 5 acres, to cater to the new tanneries), secured landfill sites for solid waste management (on 36 acres) Sewage Treatment Plant (one central STP, covering 50 acres, for environment-friendly treatment of sewage and other wastewater).
Dr Amit Mitra, the Finance, Industry and Commerce, and Information Technology and e-Governance Minister had recently said that the government was spending Rs 540 crore for infrastructural development at CLC in order to turn the leather hub into the world’s largest one.
Already several big companies from other states have set up their units at CLC and several more were handed over plots in the programme. They are making a beeline for CLC because of the government’s providing all necessary infrastructure and of following the latest rules and regulations, including environmental standards.With all the projects announced today, the turnover at Calcutta Leather Complex is expected to climb from the present Rs 13,000 crore to Rs 27,000 crore in the next few years, and the export figure is expected to touch Rs 35,000 crore. (UNI)