Shoes made of chicken skin could hit markets soon

Friday, 21 February 2003, 08:00 Hrs
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KOLKATA: Now you can eat your chicken and wear it too -- on your feet.

Leather technologists here have developed a method to produce footwear from soft chicken skin. And taking advantage of this technology, the West Bengal government wants to make a mark in the footwear industry.

Experts at the state-owned college of leather technology have treated chicken skin to make it suitable for use in manufacturing shoes.

"We have informed the government of the new technology and it is to be used for a business venture," college principal Buddhadeb Chatterjee said.

The government is exploring the possibility of tying up with local shoe manufacturer Khadim's to market the chicken skin footwear.

"We will sign a memorandum of understanding with a leading hatchery for raw materials," Chatterjee said.

Arambagh Hatcheries, for instance, could supply 100,000 pieces of skins a day.

The chicken skin will be treated and prepared for shoe making by the leather technologists at the college and handed over to Khadim's to turn into footwear.

Leather is a major thrust area for West Bengal's industrialisation with the government building a leather complex on Kolkata's eastern outskirts. About 525 tanneries in the city are to shift there, but so far most have not relocated, allegedly because infrastructure at the new complex is not ready.

The Supreme Court ordered the shifting of leather businesses outside the city in 1996 in view of growing pollution.

The leather business generates 20 billion for West Bengal. The 523 tanneries in Kolkata provide direct employment to some 50,000 people.

Source: IANS
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