95 Kanpur tannaries shut indefinitely

The Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) has ordered closure of 95 tanneries in Jajmau area with immediate effect for an indefinite period as pumping station number 3 and Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) are overflowing.

The UPPCB has also ordered disconnection of the power and water supply of all these all tanneries.

The state pollution control body has also directed the owners of all tanneries to install CCTV cameras in their units within a month and submit their compliance reports.

The district magistrate constituted four teams, comprising an additional city magistrate and one engineer each of the regional pollution control board and Kanpur Electricity Supply Company.

The teams supervised disconnection of power of around a dozen tanneries on Thursday.

Around 217 tanneries in Jajmau have been operating as per 15-day roster issued by the district magistrate on July 31, 2020.

The tanneries linked to pumping station, can operate in the first fortnight of the month and those linked with pumping station at Wazidpur pumping station in the second fortnight.

Jal Nigam officials informed the regional pollution control board that tanneries linked with Wazidpur station were discharging their effluents in domestic sewer due to which the STP was overflowing.

A show-cause notice was issued to tannery operators but the overflowing problem persisted.

The pollution officials then informed its state headquarters and administrative officers following which UPPCB chief environment officer Ajay Kumar Sharma ordered closure of the 95 tanneries linked to Wazidpur pumping station.

Firoz Alam, office bearer of Small Tanners’ Association, meanwhile, termed the order as ‘arbitrary’.

“The officials do not even hear our versions and closure order is issued. All tanneries have flow meters which are connected to the CPCB server for monitoring. Also, there is no sewer line in Jajmau area. The domestic effluents reached the pumping station and caused overflow. This should be checked,” he claimed.

RPCB engineer Anil Mathur said, “The flow meters can be bypassed and there is no system by which 24-hour monitoring can be done. The problem was the overflowing of STP and that has to be stopped.”