The National Green Tribunal has questioned the Uttar Pradesh government and its pollution control board over regulation of tanneries on the banks of river Ganga in Kanpur, asking how could they regulate them if their officials "can't even enter their premises".
The NGT said industrial effluents, which contain high chromium, emanating from tannery clusters were polluting Ganga and even UP Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) was not aware of the actual number of tanneries till now.
"You (UP and pollution control board) say that operation of tanneries should be regulated. But tell us one thing, how can you regulate them if your men cannot even enter their premises," a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said.
The observation came after UPPCB informed the bench that there were 400 tanneries in Kanpur which released effluents into the Jajmau drain and there was an urgent need to monitor their functioning to clean Ganga.
The tribunal noted that all tanneries in Jajmau were not equipped with chromium recovery plants and immediate effort should be made to trap pollutants coming out of them.
The tribunal had earlier asked the tanneries at Kanpur to clear their stand on shifting to some other place to stop uncontrolled discharge of effluents into the river.
On November 15, the tribunal had stopped the government from spending "a single penny" for Ganga rejuvenation work between Haridwar and Unnao, saying a whopping Rs 20,000 crore was being spent on the entire national project by officials who did not even know about the river.
The matter was listed for next hearing on November 21.
The green panel has divided the work of cleaning the river in different segments -- Gomukh to Haridwar (Phase-I), Haridwar to Unnao (termed as segment B of Phase-I), Unnao to border of Uttar Pradesh, border of Uttar Pradesh to border of Jharkhand and border of Jharkhand to Bay of Bengal.
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