One of tanneries based in Chittagong has come up with its effluent treatment plant (ETP) on its own, setting an example for others to follow.Riff Leather Ltd, an enterprise of TK Group has invested Tk one billion for modernisation and up-gradation of its factory and installation of a waste management plant.The company has already been running on test the newly installed ETP since last week of March this year.It is waiting for its full-scale commissioning after receipt of a test report from the Environment Department any time this month.After full commissioning, the factory, located at CDA Noxious Industrial Area at Chandgaon in Kalurghat area of the port city, will be processing one million square feet of leather every month, factory insiders said.They said more than 300 people will get new jobs in the factory under the expansion scheme.Madina Tannery – another four decade-old tannery – is also working on its up-gradation scheme after a long pause in production, following environmental restrictions imposed by the concerned department in Chittagong.Sources in the Riff Leather Ltd said the management took up construction of the fully environment-friendly and modern technology-based industry in the middle of 2015 at a cost of Tk 1.00 billion.Under the scheme, installation of the ETP system has been completed at a cost of Tk 250 million.Work on installation of high-tech machinery, modernisation and up-gradation including setting up of a modern shoe factory in a 10-storey building is continuing, sources said.Director of Environment Department in Chittagong Azadur Rahman said they had closed down Chittagong’s two tanneries as they did not have waste management plants causing pollution of neighbouring environment with toxic wastes.”One of the tanneries has recently begun work on installing an effluent treatment plant. They have submitted to us a specimen. We are examining it. If it’s ok, we will give them the test report soon,” he said.Raw hide traders in Chittagong said they are looking for heydays this year as Riff Leather is expected to procure sufficient quantity of hides and skins in the upcoming Eid-ul-Azha.The Chittagong Raw Hide Traders Association said there are 200 warehouses for storing raw hide and over 0.5 million pieces are procured during the Eid-ul-Azha in Chittagong region every year.Besides, 800 to 1000 pieces of bulls and buffalo skin and 2500 to 3000 pieces of goat skin are procured from the local market everyday. These constitute almost 40 per cent of the total raw hides procured throughout the country every year from Chittagong.Sources said there are 22 tanneries in Chittagong which process and export leather. But 20 tanneries were closed down till 2010 as these failed to cope with the market trend. As a result, the raw hide traders have been solely dependent on tanneries in Dhaka.Md Moklesur Rahman, director (operations and sales) of the Riff Leather Ltd, said they have modernised the factory as fully eco-friendly.A number of buyers of finished leather from China and Japan have already visited their factory and expressed their eagerness to do business with Riff Leather.Besides, the products of the factory have been very much familiar with local shoe brands. He is hoping to procure a good quantity of raw hides this year.The TK Group has a good export market for its different brands of shoes produced in its own footwear factory in Chittagong.