While the multi-storey footwear market project, currently under construction, promises to revive the city’s ailing footwear market, the city’s leather trade is also gearing up for two more footwear infrastructure projects that will be launched shortly.
The UP State Industrial Development Corporation (UPSIDC) will soon launch the Rs 200-crore Integrated Leather Park project, the work for which is expected to begin by the end of this month.
The leather park will serve as a unified production hub for a large number of small- and mid-scale leather garment, footwear and accessory production units, that will benefit from shared facilities like an advanced design studio.
According to UPSIDC sources, the corporation had demanded a total of 111 hectares of land, located near Kirawli, close to the Agra-Jaipur highway and the acquisition process for this land has already begun.
The proposal for the leather park project had been announced by Chief Minister Mayawati in April last year. Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industries Jairam Ramesh had endorsed the project during the inauguration of a leather expo in Agra early this month, promising all monetary help possible from the central government.
Meanwhile, the Footwear Design and Development Institute Noida has decided to set up a branch of the institute in Agra, which will train at least 12,000 single-skilled operators for the industry within the next three years to combat the shortage of skilled labour in the sector. A similar branch will also be opened in Kanpur.
According to G Joshi, training coordinator, FDDI, the institute will establish its own workshop in Agra, where about 6,000 unemployed people will be imparted skills in cutting, stitching and finishing as part of the worker training scheme of FDDI.
Under the training programme, the workers will be given a free one-month workshop training on real leather and two weeks’ factory training, following which they would be provided with placements in the local footwear export units, he added.