For cleaner Ganga, leather products to get costlier
The Clean Ganga Mission, which has been initiated to make the holy river pollution-free, is all set to make you to cough up more while buying leather products. Thanks to the council for leather exports’ order which says that the leather and tannery manufacturers have to install sewage treatment plants (STPs) at their units to control direct flow of industry waste water into Ganga, which will be passed on to end users. No government aid will be given to install these STPs.
While talking to Millennium Post Rajendra K Jalan, who heads Environment Sustainability Committee of the council, said, “Whatever has been done is the past now. The leather and tannery industry will no longer become a polluting factor for Ganga as we are committed to make Ganga pollution-free at any cost.” Adding further Jalan said, “We have asked manufactures to install sewage treatment plants at their units and the cost of the technology would be borne by firm owners, which is very natural that the ‘technology price burden’ would be shifted to consumers.”
Responding to a question as will there be any price hike of leather products after the industry itself would bear out the cost, Jalan said, “At present we have not yet decided which technology would be adopted for the purpose, but it’s very sure that rate of leather products would see a steep hike. Since we all want Ganga to be cleaned, so we should be ready to pay a little for this noble cause.”
“The council for leather exports is also working on a strategy to utilise almost 85-90 per cent of waste water for the industry purpose after treatment, while rest 10-15 per cent of the industry waste would be mixed with the sewage of city’s and after treatment would be used for agricultural purposes. In this way we will not let a single drop of the industry’s waste water to flow into the river,” Jalan said, adding that if all goes well, the good results will start coming at the end of this year.
It’s worth mentioning that Kanpur’s leather and tannery industry, which earns foreign exchange worth Rs 6,000 crore for the country and gives direct livelihood to more than one lakh people, was held responsible by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) for polluting the Ganga. The Uttar Pradesh government has already ordered to shut down 98 units on the same ground while clouds of uncertainty are still hanging over others.
Notably, as part of its Clean Ganga Mission, which is a pet project of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Centre will spend Rs 30,000 crore in the next four years on conservation by strengthening the livelihood of the people living along the banks of the river.