Only nine tanneries out of total 155 have got gas connections in the Savar Tannery Estate to date since its supply was snapped in Hazaribagh four months ago. Tanners and Titas Gas Company authorities are blaming each other for not having connection in the tannery estate. The tanners fear the leather industry is going to be seriously affected during Eid-ul-Azha which will see the largest rawhide and skins collection for the country’s tanners. “Only nine tanneries have gas connections till now though the High Court issued directive to provide gas within 15 days in Savar Tannery Estate three months back,” Bangladesh Tanners’ Association (BTA) general secretary Shakawat Ullah told the FE. Engineer Md Siddiqur Rahman, manager of zonal office of Titas Gas at Savar, contradicted him, saying Titas is ready to provide gas to the estate on a priority basis. “But tanners are not ready; they have to build infrastructures before getting gas connections,” he said. Before relocation, some 55 tanneries had gas connections in Hazaribagh. So, Titas will provide 55 out of 155 tanneries quick gas connections in Savar while connections for 100 others will take time. “But those 55 tanneries are not ready too,” he said. The BTA general secretary refuted the Titas argument and said he has already built infrastructure for gas connection but he did not get it yet. Mohiuddin Ahmed Mahin, president of the Bangladesh Finished Leather, Leather Goods and Footwear Exporters Association, said he himself did not get gas connection in his tanneries in the Savar estate. But he did not blame the Titas solely. He hoped all tanneries will get gas connection before Eid-ul-Azha but he said the industry will get a huge blow if they can’t go into production before the festival of sacrifice. At present, the country earns about $1.16 billion from export of leather goods and footwear products annually. The export is targeted to reach $5 billion when the country’s total export is projected to stand at $60 billion in 2021. The leather sector has been the country’s oldest export sector developed over five decades ago. About one million people are employed in the leather industry directly and indirectly. The sector has been growing at 20 per cent and it shares 3.4 per cent of the total export earnings. Being the second largest export sector, the leather goods and footwear contribute about 1 per cent to the Gross Domestic Products (GDP).