In a stern message to tanneries polluting the Ganga in Kanpur with chemicals, the National Green Tribunal today asked them either to minimise their effluent discharge close down.
"You have only two options. Either you comply or close down. Let's not spend billions of rupees without any result. Cleaning the river is not impractical. It's just that we have to be enthusiastic about it. Government wants Ganga to be clean and ghats to be in proper condition, why can't we," a bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar said.
In a brief hearing, the tribunal said it was undisputable that 700 tannery industries in Kanpur were one of the highest sources of pollution.
It asked the Uttar Pradesh government and state pollution control board to take clear instructions in the tanneries operating in Kanpur.
"How many of the tanneries are complying with our orders? Is there any improvement in the discharge? Is there any comparative change in the status? We want clear answers," the bench said.
The tribunal, which was asked to act against industrial units polluting Ganga by the Supreme Court, has unveiled its stage-wise plan to restore the river to its pristine glory.
The green panel had said it intended to take the issue of rejuvenation of Ganga stage-wise to clean up the 2,500 km stretch of the river spanning several northern and eastern states.