Uttar Pradesh: Closure of 94 tanneries ordered for polluting river Ganga

Lucknow: The State Pollution Control Board has issued an order directing closure of 94 tanneries in Kanpur for polluting holy river Ganga by discharging contaminated water.

The action was initiated against these tanneries on a report submitted by the UP Jal Nigam. The report claimed that 94 tanneries located in Jajmau area of Kanpur were violating the NGT and High Court orders by discharging contaminated water into sewer lines.

The sewer line of the area is connected with the Wazidpur Water Treatment Plant which treats the water before throwing it in the Ganga for saving the holy river from contamination and pollution.

The treatment plant officials claimed that they were finding it difficult to filter the water due to tanneries throwing contaminated water into sewer lines against the rules. Moreover, it is choking sewer lines and causing overflow at several places in the city.

The District Magistrate Kanpur had also shot off a letter on July 31 2020 to the owners of these 94 tanneries warning them not to throw contaminated water into sewer lines. But they continued to use sewer lines for throwing their waste.

The Regional Manager Pollution Control Board Anil Mathur said that the Board had issued notices to these tanneries but they did not mend their ways forcing the Board to close 94 units.

The Leather Export Council Chairman Javed Iqbal has condemned the Board’s decision to close 94 tanneries. He has threatened to shift their units to some other state if their harassment was not stopped. “We are already facing a crisis due to Covid-19 pandemic. Instead of helping us, the Board harass us in the name of pollution,” he fumed.

There are about 250 tanneries in and around Kanpur and Unnao districts. They not only export leather items but are the main supplier to the shoe industry in Agra and other places. Earlier, plans were made to shift tanneries to the outskirts of Kanpur on the recommendation of the NGT but no headway has been made in this regard.

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