SIALKOT (PPI) The construction of an international standard Tanneries Zone has been started on 384 acres near village Khambraanwala-Sialkot (adjacent to Sialkot International Airport) with an estimated cost of Rs 780 million, with a sole aim to purge the export-oriented Sialkot city from tanneries pollution by shifting all the 300 small and medium sized tanneries to tanneries zone. According to the District Officer (Environment) Imtiaz Rasul Alvi, the Punjab government will provide the 75 per cent of the total estimated cost of this project while the rest 25 per cent cost would be shared by the Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry(SCCI). He said that this project would be completed within three to five years, where a high standard treatment would be established which would clean as many as 2.5 cusecs waste of this project and the treated waste would be dumped into a Naullah, having the capacity of 300 cusecs. The above mentioned small and big sized tanneries (scattered in and around Sialkot city) were causing the large scale environmental pollution in the region. According to the latest statistics collected by the Sialkot district government, all the tanneries in Sialkot were producing more than 90 million meters fine quality leather annually by using more than 65,000 tons of various chemicals during the process of preparation of this leather. Out of these chemicals, as many as 9600 tons chemicals (being used) are very dangerous, poisonous and injurious to health. The main aim of establishment of international standard water treatment plant was to meat the global environmental challenges of WTO. The contaminated water heavily loaded with toxic pollutants emitting out of the tanneries set up in the area between Upper Chenab Canal (UCC) and canal Marala-Ravi-Link (M.R.Link) near Sambrial is infiltrating into the water table and is not only diminishing the fertility of the soil but also posing the human souls with the worst possible threat by causing almost incurable maladies of respiratory tact and digestive systems. The President of NGO Baidarie Arshad Mehmood Mirza told the newsmen at Sambrial that the use of polluted water has considerable heightened the graph of the Water Borne Diseases (WBDs) in the Sambrial area. He said that local people have urged the government to immediately step up to effectively implementation on the relevant rules and regulations, besides, bounding the factory owners to treat the water containing chemical waste before pouring it into water channels.