The leather industry of Pakistan occupies a place of prominence in our economy in view of its massive potential for employment, growth and exports. In fact, backed by a strong raw- material base and a large reservoir of traditionally skilled and competitive labour force, the Pakistan leather industry has made significant strides during the past two decades. Notable leather centres in Pakistan are at Karachi, Multan, Sheikhupura, Kasur, Lahore and Sialkot.
In Sialkot there are around 240 tanneries existing in 10 clusters in and around Sialkot. In the absence of a proper effluent collection system and no treatment facilities, the effluents of these tanneries are being discharged to seasonal nullahs like Aik, Bhed, and Pulkhu. As there is no scientific land fill available for tannery waste, heaps of garbage could be seen everywhere.
Realizing the environmental degradation of Sialkot, the tanners took the initiative and agreed that the best solution of environmental degradation problem is to shift the tanneries out of the city. For this purpose, Sialkot Tanneries Association Guarantee Limited (STAGL) was formed. STAGL has taken up the challenge of establishment of Sialkot Tannery Zone (STZ).
The STAGL has taken up a mega project of shifting all the tanneries in one well planned STZ, which shall be equipped with all required facilities in one location. This shall have suitable infrastructure of roads, pavements and parking. It shall also be equipped with commercial areas that shall support the tanners for supply of their requirements other that raw material. The STZ shall have complete effluent collection system and a common effluent treatment plant. Other treatment facilities like Chrome Recovery Plant, Fat Extraction Plant, and Common Facility Centre shall be provided within the STZ for convenience of the tanners and for addressing the environmental issues.