Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath has ordered closure of all the tanneries in Kanpur from December 15, 2018 to March 15, 2019 in order to keep the river Ganga clean during the Kumbh in Allahabad.
Orders have also been issued to ensure that Ganga is not polluted in any form from Garhmukteshwar to Kashi. The CM’s order means that all the 264 tanneries in Kanpur will be closed during the period of the Kumbh.
The chief minister, who convened a meeting of the tannery owners of Kanpur yesterday, issued the directives to ensure that the pilgrims taking a holy dip in the river during the Kumbh get clean water, a government spokesman said today.
The chief minister has also asked the administration to ensure that no waste was dumped in the river between Garhmukteshwar and Varanasi during this period. Adityanath, who also reviewed the Namami Gange schemes, said clean water should be maintained in the river from December, 2018 to March, 2019.
The beleaguered Uttar Pradesh leather industry, which had started to take baby steps after recovering from severe raw hide shortage last year following closure of illegal abattoirs, is staring at another stumbling block that threatens to shake its very foundation.
The Yogi Adityanath government has ordered tanneries in Kanpur, a major leather processing hub generating annual economy of about Rs 120 billion, for total shutdown for three months between December 15 and March 15 to arrest the flow of effluents in river Ganga during Kumbh Mela 2019 in Prayag, Allahabad.
The closure also means that the leather exporters would also be deprived of benefitting from higher earnings owing to the devaluating Indian currency.
Earlier, a good number of tanneries had been closed down following the National Green Tribunal (NGT) order to check pollution. The remaining tanneries have been asked to shift from their current leather belt of Jajmau to Ramipur, where a big treatment plant has been proposed to be set up at an investment of Rs 5.54 billion.
He said the leather industry in Kanpur exports goods of around Rs 6,000 crore while the domestic industry also amounts to nearly the same figure. “On one hand Centre asks us to increase our exports but on the other hand the state government orders to shut down tanneries for three months,” he added