India’s tanneries based in Kanpur have stopped working again. India is about to start celebrations for the Magh Mela, the annual Hindu feast where believers gather in the city of Prayang. That is why India’s government decided to force tanneries, actively running in the leather district, to stop working again. They have brought about the same reason why, right one year ago, they made the same decision while waiting for the Kumbh Mela, another religious feast where Indian worshippers meet up along the Ganges. In other words, cleansing the sacred river.
A long stop
Celebrations are going to kick off today, 10th January, and will go on for 40 days. Last week, the Uttar Pradesh Adityanath government (led by the Bharatiya Janata party) imposed the shutdown of tanneries until February. The government has made such decision while “aiming to keep clean the water of the river Ganges, in which believers plunge. For the records, as reported by some governmental sources, they have often detected, in the river water, a high quantity of pollutants, deriving from some industrial sewage draining”.
“The infrastructures, tools and plants we have recently replaced are going to decay again: they will be of no use, therefore increasing our financial loss”, harshly criticized Asad K Iraqi, president of AKI leather tanning group, while posting his comment on the newsclick.in portal. Last year shutdown went on for several months, therefore jeopardizing tanneries as much as the whole leather industry. At this point, remarked Iraqi, “Banks will no longer allow us to postpone credit refunds. On top of that, orders and deliveries have been decreasing because of work shortage. Moreover, how will government help us restore the international leather market?”.