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