Water shortage threatens Korangi tanners

Sector 7A of Korangi Industrial Area houses around 250 to 260 leather making units and is the biggest tanning cluster in Pakistan. Through the export of tanned leather and leather products, Pakistan earns over $1 billion per annum and is a major source of export revenue for the country.

Pakistan Tanners Association (PTA) Chairman, M Khurshid Ahmed said on December 30 that the PTA, after holding fruitless meetings with the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB), had now sought intervention of the Sindh Governor Dr Ishratual Ibad Khan.

The PTA Chairman said that the tannery zone in Korangi industrial area is faced with a perpetual drought-like situation which was badly damaging leather industry’s production and quality.

He pointed out that most of the wells dug by the industry, which had been a major source of water supply, have also dried up and there is no supply of water from the KWSB.

‘A drought-like situation prevails in the leather industry of Korangi industrial area and KWSB has remained unmoved despite repeated representations and persuasions,’ he said.

The PTA even took up the matter with KWSB MD on several occasions but it all ended with verbal promises and commitments while the leather industry continues to suffer. Under the circumstances, M Khurshid said that tanneries are buying water through private water tankers which, is not only expensive but also damaging the quality of the finished leather.

He said that water presently being used by the tanneries is supplied by a ‘tankers mafia’ which gets the water from wells which are untreated and contains high levels of salts and minerals which damage the quality of the leather.

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