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`Foreign cos too keen on Calcutta Leather Complex'

Our Bureau

KOLKATA, May 30

QUITE a few companies from within the country and outside are keen on setting up integrated leather units in the Calcutta Leather Complex (CLC), according to Mr Jagmohan Dalmiya, Chairman of M.L. Dalmiya & Co Ltd.

Mr Dalmiya, whose company is implementing the project on a BOT basis, said that companies from Jeddah, the UK, Uttar Pradesh and Chennai have evinced keen interest in the project, which is expected to be operational by October 2002.

Launching a hard-sell jointly with Mr Somnath Chatterjee, Chairman of the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC), Mr Dalmiya said at a press conference that CLC had the maximum operational economy vis-a-vis projects at either Maharashtra or Tamil Nadu.

"A unit with a daily capacity of 1,000 tonnes would save Rs 268 crore annually by investing at CLC," he said. These would mainly be in the form of saving on account of power, water and effluent treatment charges, he said.

The work on the common effluent treatment plant has already been started by VA-Tec Wabag, an Austrian company, which won the global tender to execute the job. The CETP will take two years to complete, but within the end of this year the company will set up some primary treatment facilities.

Mr Dalmiya said that of the 523 tanneries, which have been asked to relocate to CLC from their present locations in Tangra, Tiljala and Topsia in eastern Kolkata, 338 have paid their full money and 200 of them have begun construction. For the small tanners, a co-operative would be formed to allow them to take their land, he said.

He said that out of the 1,100 acre plot, 550 acres would be sold to leather units and tanneries while the remaining area was being reserved for setting up infrastructural facilities and for greeneries.

Mr Chatterjee said that the State Government has already announced special incentives for all units coming up in the complex. These included electricity duty waiver, employment generation subsidy, capital investment subsidy and interest subsidy. Some of these incentives were not available in States such as Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, which were threatening to lure tanners way from CLC.

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