UP tanneries begin moving to Bengal to shift their operations

KOLKATA: After the illogical ban by Yogi Adityanath led Uttar Pradesh government on all tanneries in the region during Kumbh, the owners of big tanneries are now are moving to Bengal to shift their operations.

As per the reports published in The Indian Express, the West Bengal government has allotted land to least 12 tanneries in Kanpur in the presence of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee after their applications got approved.

On Friday, the second day of the Bengal Global Business Summit (BGBS), 2019 the applicants were told to collect the allotment letters.

To shift their tanneries to the West Bengal, 80 industrialists from Kanpur had applied for land to the Mamta Banerjee government around four months ago.

“The letters have been issued by the Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises and Textiles Department. The West Bengal government is giving us land at the rate of Rs 2,150/sq metre in Bantala area where Kolkata’s leather industry is situated,” Javed Iqbal, Regional Chairman, Council for Leather Export (Central region, Kanpur), told The Indian Express.

“We have been told by the government during a meeting that allotment letters to other applicants would be sent directly to them soon after the approval,” Iqbal said.

UP Leather Industries Association spokesperson Ashraf Rizwan said: “We chose to shift our tanneries to Bengal because Kolkata is a metropolitan city and has an international airport. To export goods from Kanpur, we pay around Rs 50,000 per container for the journey to the seaport. In Kolkata, the sea is closer. Labour hands are also easily available there.”

There are 400 tanneries in Kanpur. Besides, there are 40 tanneries in Unnao district and the combined annual turnover is of Rs 7,000 crore but the contemporary cow politics have choked the leather economy of Uttar Pradesh.

The UP govt ordered of a three-month blanket ban from December 15 to March 15 to provide clean Ganga water to the pilgrims coming to the Kumbh Mela at Prayagraj naturally hit the tannery owners and spell trouble for lakhs of daily-wage workers, tanners meat and leather exporters.