Kanpur: Months after Kumbh Mela ends, Tannery owners still waiting for nod to reopen

Published: May 14, 2019, 10:41 IST | mid-day online desk

Tanneries were closed before the Kumbh Mela in January to stop sewage or industrial effluent flowing into the river Ganga and ensure that pilgrims could have a cleaner holy dip

Kanpur: Months after Kumbh Mela ends, Tannery owners still waiting for nod to reopen
Representational image

Although Kumbh Mela ended on March 4, hundreds of tanneries in Kanpur are still closed. The tannery workers are now returning home or finding other means to sustain their livelihood.

Tanneries were closed before the Kumbh Mela in January to stop sewage or industrial effluent flowing into the river Ganga and ensure that pilgrims could have a cleaner holy dip. However, the Kumbh Mela ended on March 4, and the tanneries were yet not opened as Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) did not issue the requisite clearance certificate.

For those unversed, tanning is a highly polluting industry with a host of chemicals and toxicants being discharged into the river causing immense pollution.

Manoj Gupta, a tannery owner said, "We do not know for how long tanneries will remain closed, but losses are already running into crores. Labourers are returning to their villages as they are not getting any work. The government is not giving us any intimation as to how long these will remain closed." 

"I have no work since last one month. We were 10-12 people here earlier and now only 2-3 are left; we are also going," said Furkan, who worked as a helper in a tannery.

Nadeem Khan, a leather trader also alleged huge loss and said, "There is a huge loss to the tanneries. Labourers are returning home as there is no work left here. Orders are transferred to Bangladesh and Pakistan."

A tannery owner showed no hope of any relief. He said, "Since last 6-7 months tanneries are closed, about 350-400 tanneries are closed. Government is not telling when it will reopen."

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Edited by mid-day online desk with inputs from Agencies

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