Toxic tan­ner­ies

Down to Earth - - LETTERS -

This is with ref­er­ence to the ar­ti­cle "Can we save Ganga?" (July 16-31, 2014). It is a mat­ter of re­gret that the Cen­tral or the Ut­tar Pradesh gov­ern­ment has not taken any ac­tion to close the 400 tan­ner­ies in Kan­pur, par­tic­u­larly Ja­j­mau, that are heav­ily pol­lut­ing the river. Why have their li­cences not be­ing re­voked? The set­ting up of ef­flu­ent treat­ment plants and common ef­flu­ent treat­ment plants is mere eye­wash. In 1987, the Supreme Court had or­dered the clo­sure of sev­eral tan­ner­ies in Ja­j­mau for pol­lut­ing the Ganga in re­sponse to a pe­ti­tion filed by M C Mehta, a so­cial worker, against the Union of In­dia. But tan­ner­ies con­tinue to func­tion wors­en­ing the qual­ity of wa­ter of the river. In fact, tan­ner­ies have been pol­lut­ing other ma­jor rivers in the coun­try and their trib­u­taries, be­sides wa­ter bod­ies like tanks and wells. Es­tab­lish­ing treat­ment plants seems to be a waste of time. To save the Ganga, ex­ist­ing tan­ner­ies that dis­charge ef­flu­ents into the river should be closed and its em­ploy­ees should be duly com­pen­sated.

P S SUBRAH­MA­NIAN

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