Tanneries halt raw leather processing due to Kumbh Mela

District administration and state government's concerted efforts in the wake of this year's Mahakumbh have started yielding results. While several tanneries in Jajmau have altogether stopped the treatment process of raw leather in their units, other tanneries have decided to suspend the process in their units from January 9, 2013.

According to Small Tanners Association, processing of raw leather takes about 12 days' time. Hafeezur Rehman, president of Small Tanners Association said the tanneries would either remain closed during Kumbh or continue with work other than leather processing in their products.
He said with the tanneries suspending the processing of raw leather for one and a half months in the wake of Kumbh fair at Allahabad, a large number of workers would be affected. Around 15 thousand temporary workers would be unemployed during the period, he said. Some tanneries have already planned to shift their workforce to dry leather work while others had no alternative other than closure of their units, he said. The president informed that only big tanneries had dry work facilities while the smaller one had no such type of work.

Meanwhile, some export units said that since they had to fulfill their export orders in time, they would get their leather processed from Chennai. Ehsanullah, proprietor, East West tanners said, "We had closed the process work in our tanneries and permanent staff has been shifted to dry work sections. Remaining have been asked to take rest till the tannery resumes normal operations."

Oriental leather finishers informed that they had closed their six processing units. The state government had asked the tanneries and other industries situated on the bank of river Ganges to check discharge of waste into the river to help in improving the quality of river water.

A meeting between additional district magistrate (City) and tannery owners had taken place on December 24 and it was decided that all the tanneries would shut down their work from January 10, 2013. The tanneries are likely to be closed till March 9 as Hindu festival Maha Shivratri would be held during this period. Earlier, it was decided to close the tannery units from January 5.According to administrative sources, the district administration has constituted seven teams to keep a tab on tanneries. Each team had officials from water department and pollution control board, he added.

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