“The leather industry in on the verge of destruction”. Umpteenth alarm from Kanpur: launched by Azim Ansari, owner of an Indian leather export company. The entrepreneur spoke to newsclick.in in relation to the dell’Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB)’s decision of blocking activities for 248 tanneries in Jaimau. As reported by The Times of India, the decision was made last Friday, on February 28th 2020. One week prior, on February 19th, the UPPCB had ruled to prolong the blockage for the companies.
“The leather industry is on the verge of destruction”
Naiyar Jamal, ex secretary general of the Kanpur Tanneries Association, reminds us that the government had already blocked tanneries for a period of over 13 months. “they have re-opened just two months ago, and now the UPPCB is again forcing them to close down – he explains to newsclick.in -. The government is fixed on giving us this coup de grace: if we can’t deliver our goods, how are we supposed to survive?”. Indian authorities had conceded, on December 20th, 2019, to a group of tanneries to re-start their activities in reduced capacities. Moreover, they were told that more audits would have been conducted shortly, to ensure their compliance with environmental laws.
Tanneries have nothing to do with it
The main reason for which authorities continue blocking Kanpur’s tanneries is the pollution levels of the Ganges river. Many tanneries and other businesses in the region are dumping polluting substances into the river before properly treating them and purifying the wastewater. The suspension of operations imposed on February 19th was to supposed to continue until further notice. Meanwhile, the Central Pollution Control Board, had asked its local officed to prepare a report on the river’s status, as well as which companies were respecting the laws implemented. This new decision has nothing to do with that report, nor the activities of the tanneries themselves.
Damage at the top
In other words, there appears to be an issue with the city’s water delivery system. Technicians have found damages to the tubes that connect the water emission plant (CETP) and the water treatment plant (STP). The blockage was implemented to prevent the wastewater from tanneries from being used to irrigate the fields before being treated. The city’s technicians are already working to repair the damage and tanneries should reopen within a few days.
In the image, a screenshot from newsclick.in