The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Bantala set, tanners not, says minister

Industry minister Nirupam Sen on Tuesday blamed the tanners for delaying the shift of tanneries to Bantala. Sen, who visited the new Calcutta Leather Complex (CLC) site on Tuesday morning, along with advocate-general Balai Ray, said at Writers’ Buildings that the infrastructure was ready for the tanners to shift immediately to Bantala from the Tangra-Topsia belt. Those who have taken land at CLC should begin to move now, he asserted.

The Supreme Court has directed the government to stop tanneries from operating in the city and to transfer the industry to the CLC. “All tanners will have to close shop in the city and shift to the leather complex. Only about 22 out of 323 tanneries that have taken land have started construction at the complex. If the others had begun shifting in February, a lot of progress would have been made,” Sen pointed out.

The 323 tanneries will be relocated on 136 acres of the 11,000-acre CLC. Another 200 will be relocated on 26 acre.

Listing the infrastructure, Sen said arrangements had been made to supply 12 mw power and 10 million litres of water per day. This is enough for 323 tanneries.

The first phase of the common effluent treatment plant (CETP) was ready to handle the waste. He said there would be no problem in getting electricity connections from the state electricity board either.

Sen said tannery-owners will have to pay the financial packages fixed by the Supreme Court to the 40,000-odd workers. Workers unwilling to shift can be regarded as “retrenched”, but they will have to be given a year’s pay as additional compensation.

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