Shutdown order for five tanneries for polluting Ganga

Kanpur: The Uttar Pradesh government on Saturday granted permission to the state`s Pollution Control Board to order the closure of five of the 21 tanneries accused of polluting the Ganga river.

The Board said that it had consistently served notices to the tannery units to install Primary Treatment Plant (PTP) to discharge polluted water, but they continued releasing water directly into the river.

"Despite issuing repeated orders asking the tanneries not to discharge polluted water into the river, they continued to be indifferent. Therefore, we wrote a letter to the state government asking for permission to close down 21 tanneries," said Radheyshyam, Zonal Officer of the Pollution Control Board.

The state government has given the Board permission to take a shutdown action against five units, including Algemen Tanning Industry, Khatoon Tanners, Crown Tanners, Leather Embossing Industry and Acme Tanners, he said.

Radheshyam threatened to snap water and electricity connections to the tanneries if they failed to comply with the order.

He added that 80 tannery units have already been forced to shut down for not installing water treatment plants, and there are about 175 tanneries in operation in the city limits.

However, tannery owners have complained that the government`s strict measures have made it difficult for them to run their business.

"Due to the restrictions, around 50,000 workers have been affected and losses are to the tune of Rs 2,500 crore," the tannery owners said.

They refused to accept the charges that effluents were being released directly into the river. "We have a certain conveyance system through which the effluents are taken up to the sewage treatment plants for processing," the owners said.