Leather collection centre in Dang proves effective

Uday GM

Dang, June 30:

A raw leather collection centre in Dang district has recorded transactions worth millions of rupees. According to the centre, it is making a payment of about 1.1 million rupees to District Development Committee (DDC), annually. Mohan KC , field officer at the centre, said, “We are paying about 1.1 million rupees annually to DDC in three instalments. In the district, transactions in leather amount to more than Rs 10 million annually.” According to him, buffalo leather is available for about one Rs 100 to Rs 400, according to its size. The available sizes include B-4, B-5 and B-6. To collect leather, 15 workers have been employed, who get Rs 2,000 to Rs 2,500 of monthly salaries. Out of them, five persons have been appointed to procure raw leather. The prime leather collection centres in the district are Ghorahi, Tulashipur, Shitalpur and Ragaincha.

Field officer KC claimed that more than 200 people in the district are indirectly engaged in this profession. More than 25 buffalo leathers are being collected there daily. Raw leather from throughout the nation is being exported after a process of semi-purification, KC said. After gathering leather in Birgunj and Hetauda, it is sent out via Kathmandu. It is an extremely challenging occupation, opined locals. “We store raw leathers, apply salt and phenyl for 10 to 15 days in a store room for the process of semi-purification. It is quite complicated to collect and store leather in the summer season due to the heat. If there is any negligence, it will rot,” said officer KC.

He is of the opinion that the DDC is not providing any support for increasing the transaction and remains merely interested in collecting the 10 per cent interest on loans. According to Local Development Officer, Bishnu Hari Sharma of DDC, Dang, all the trouble shooting is done by contractors while the DDC takes no responsibility. He further added, “The raw leather collection centre has not paid due amounts in time. So we are in the process of auctioning it to collect the amount.” Local butchers are happy from the collection of animal leather. Ram Singh Pariyar, a butcher in Ghorahi bazaar said, “Due to this collection centre, life has become

easier for us. They come to our shop to take leather, so we don’t have to take any pains.’ It is however ironical that once raw leather is exported from Nepal, it often returns in the form of finished products, said field officer KC.