KANPUR: The Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) has, in the wake of the Magh Mela which begins on January 14, directed tannery owners in the city to stop the wet cleaning of leather, starting from January 12.
This step is being taken to check the discharge of effluents released into the Ganga, which is a major attraction for pilgrims during the mela, in which millions take a ritual bath during the occasion.
Regional Director of Kanpur Area Pollution Control Board T U Khan told reporters that the step was taken after a meeting between tannery owners and members of the PCB.
The boards UP Regional Director Mohd Sikandar said lakhs of devotees bathe in the Ganga during the fair. A large number of them also converge on the banks of the holy river on the occasion of Makar Sankranti, which will be celebrated on January 14.
"To provide clean water to devotees, 272 tanneries have been asked to stop the discharge of industrial waste into the river from January 12. Only dry work can be carried out till February 10," said Sikandar.
District authorities have also set up six teams of water board and PCB officials to conduct inspection of tanneries during the festive week and carry out stringent action against violaters.
"PCB officials will conduct inspections of tanneries during the period and take strict action against those violating the orders," Sikandar added.
This measure is a regular exercise carried out every year during this period and the tannery owners also cooperate with us, he
However, the director of a super tannery has said that the move to stop cleaning work will result in a huge loss for the tanneries, almost to the tune of Rs 200 crore, due to a number of pending orders from foreign countries.