Kanpur to get effluent treatment plant

Junking the Uttar Pradesh government’s proposal to displace Kanpur’s tanneries, the Union Water Resources Ministry has decided to commission a common effluent treatment plant there to address the pollution from tanneries, said to be the biggest source of industrial pollution to the Ganga.

There is already such a treatment plant in the city. However, it can at most treat 9 million litres per day (MLD) of sewage and this was based on sewage calculations of 1986.

“The old plant will be junked and a new one, costing about Rs. 400 crore, will be commissioned,” said U.P. Singh, water resources secretary who is also in charge of the National Mission for Clean Ganga.

“75% of the cost will be borne by us but operation and maintenance will be the responsibility of the tannery association.” The proposed plant will be able to treat about 20 MLD of industrial waste.

Earlier this year, the Uttar Pradesh government had said that all tanneries would be shifted to a new location away from the Ganga and new land had been identified for the purpose.

“We’ve deliberated on that for sometime… what we’ve decided is to use the technology in the existing plant (9 MLD), of filtration technology, but make it bigger and not have any relocation,” Mr. Singh added.

The tannery clusters at Jajmau — a Kanpur suburb — employ over two million people and for long, tannery managers have argued that the new-technology effluent treatment plants are expensive.

The Central Pollution Control Board had informed the NGT that the Ganga, running 543 km between Haridwar and Kanpur, was affected by 1,072 seriously polluting industries that were releasing heavy metals and pesticides.

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