Uttar Pradesh: NGT directs closure of five tanneries for extracting Ganga water without permission

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New Delhi:

The National Green Tribunal has directed the closure of five Kanpur-based tanneries for discharging effluents in river Ganga after the Central Pollution Control Board informed it that the units lacked NOC from the Central Ground Water Authority. 

A bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel passed the order after perusing a joint inspection team of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and the state pollution control board.

“The CPCB has filed a joint inspection report. Apart from other observations, common observation in all the joint inspections is that there is no No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA). It is doubtful that CGWA can grant NOC in critical area of basin/catchment area of river Ganga and its tributaries where extraction of ground water adversely affects the flow of the river.

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“Even without going into this question, the fact remains that the CGWA has not granted any such permission and in absence thereof, no industrial unit can be allowed to function without such permission in view of the concluded judgment of this Tribunal... In view of the above, we are unable to permit the tanneries in question to operate,” the bench, also comprising Justice Jawad Rahim, said.

The green panel said the CPCB report was “far from satisfactory” as the directions of the tribunal in the Ganga case have not been kept in mind during the inspection.       

“We hope in future the Central Pollution Control Board

will look into this aspect of the matter while conducting any joint inspection of this nature,” the bench said.

The tribunal ordered closure of Minaar Industries, Kazi Leather (Huda Hide Agency), N R Tanners, Nusrat Tannery Pvt Ltd and New Universal Tannery.

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The five units had applied to the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) for permission to operate. However, the board found certain deficiencies in their units and closed them.

Earlier, the Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government favoured the shifting of the British-era tanneries which were releasing toxic wastes into the river Ganga at Kanpur.

Regarding the shifting of tanneries located in Jajmau cluster in Kanpur, the NGT had last year sought an action plan from the leather units, failing which it said “the UP government shall be duty bound to close the tanneries and shift the same to Banthar, Unnao or any other developed site which it considers appropriate”.

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