Shri Nitin Gadkari, Hon’ble Union Minister, Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises & Road Transport & Highways visited the Science Dissemination Centre at CSIR-Central Leather Research Institute (CSIR-CLRI), Chennai, on 16 February 2021, and launched the creation of an additional capacity of 1 MillionLitres per Day (MLD) plant of Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) & Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) system at RANITEC from the Triple Helix Auditorium of CSIR-CLRI, Chennai.
Welcoming the Hon’ble Minister, Dr K.J. Sreeram, Director, CSIR-CLRI highlighted the role of CSIR-CLRI in creating and sustaining a synergy of leather research, industry and government participation for over seven decades and while celebrating 75 years of Leather Education in India. This partnership had enabled the leather and auxiliary industry to achieve an annual turnover of USD 12 billion and employment generation for about 4.4 million people through innovative and environmentally sustainable technology solutions, education, and skill development/training. He also acknowledged the visionary leadership of the leather industry and former directors of CSIR-CLRI in forging a strong partnership in these achievements.
Shri P.R. Aqeel Ahmed, Chairman, Council for Leather Exports thanked the Minister for sponsoring the project and for his immense support. He highlighted the important role of the leather industry in their effort in “waste to wealth creation” and generating employment opportunity, especially for women. He noted that the industry is committed to environmental safety and protection and is on its way to achieving Zero Liquid Discharge to Zero Waste Discharge. For the 1632 tannery in Tamil Nadu, 13 Common Effluent Treatment Plants (CETPs) are successfully treating 16.97 MLD effluents. Even the salt waste is being reused in the fertilizer industry in achieving this objective.
While addressing the gathering, Hon’ble Minister Shri Nitin Gadkari highlighted the pivotal role played by the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in both export earnings and job creation. He wished to increase the share of MSME contribution in export from the current 48 per cent to about 60 per cent. On the job creation front, the MSME will add 5 crore more jobs to the present 11 crore jobs. To achieve this, there is a need by the industry to focus on design and quality and focus on Innovation and Entrepreneurship. There is an urgent need for converting research knowledge to wealth and also generate wealth from waste for which research is very essential. He appreciated the role of CSIR-CLRI in providing the required innovative research for achieving these objectives.
The Minister suggested that Chennai, being known for both the leather and automobile industry, should establish auxiliary industries in rural India to employ women and the youth for a decentralised development. He suggested that CSIR-CLRI should lead and support in the areas of design and quality improvement in addition to the use of the different types of materials.