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Development work on the Sialkot Tanning Zone (STZ) is picking up pace with an 80% completion of new roads in the zone. Official sources told local media on January 14 that STZ was being developed on 392 acres costing Rs406 million (US$4 million).
Sialkot located north of Lahore is recognised as one of the leading export hubs for leather based products in Pakistan. The tanneries around the city were involved in processing finished leather and wet-blue resulting in damage to the environment through air, noise and water pollution.
At present 276 tanneries operate across ten clusters around Sialkot. The concept of setting up of a central STZ was to address environmental issues and to ensure a pollution-free atmosphere for local people. The project aims to relocate tanneries based in and around city to a centralised location and provide facilities such as a common effluent treatment plant, solid waste disposal site and common effluent collection system.
The project will also allow the tanners greater compliance towards social responsibility and would be instrumental in the systematic growth of this sector while addressing the environmental concerns and minimise pollution.
Additionally, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) has also approved US$3.7 million dollars for the project "Mainstreaming Climate Change Adoption through Water Resource Management in Sialkot Tannery Zone Development.”
Source: Business Recorder