Magh Mela: Kanpur tanneries to stop wet cleaning of leather

State Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) has directed the owners of tanneries in Kanpur to stop the wet cleaning of leather to keep Ganga clean ahead of the Magh Mela to be held on January 12.

Regional Director of Kanpur Area Pollution Control Board T U Khan told PTI here today that this step was taken after a meeting between tannery owners and members of Pollution Control Board.

The step has been taken to ensure that no hazardous chemicals flow into the water body in which millions of Hindu devotees take a ritual bath every year during this time, Khan said.

District authorities have set up six teams of water board and the PCB which will conduct inspections of tanneries during the holy bath days and take strict action against those violating the orders.

Kanpur has about 400 tanneries out of which 236 are currently operational. Tannery owners have assured that wet cleaning work would be stopped in a phased manner for 18 days between January 12 to March 7.

"On the occasion of holy bath in Ganges from Makar Sankranti to Mahashivratri, all 236 tanneries in the city will remain closed for 3 days in different phases.

"Only dry work will be carried out in these leather factories on holy bath on the occassions of Mauni Amavasya, Paush Purnima, Basant Panchmi, Magh Purnima, Makar Sakranti. Wet cleaning would be stopped two days before these occassions," Khan said.

The move to stop cleaning work for 18 days will lead to losses to the tune of Rs 200 crore due to a number of pending orders from foreign countries.

Imran Siddiqui, Director of Super Tannery, said "Although we will incur losses to the tune of Rs 200 crore but respecting the pious occasion we will shut down the work for 18 days.

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