Kumbh Mela: 29 tanneries booked for violating orders



Kanpur: The city electricity company has filed complaint against owners of as many as 29 tanneries for illegally drawing electricity despite their connection having been snapped by authorities in light of ongoing Kumbh Mela.

Kanpur Electricity Supply Company Limited (KESCo) lodged cases of power theft against these tanneries yesterday night at the Chakeri police station here.

Out of 80 tanneries closed after government order earlier, 33 were still found to be illegally operational in violation of a prohibitory order which bars tanneries from operating for certain periods during the Maha Kumbh Mela, KESCo managing director RS Pandey told a news agency.

Only 4 out of 33 have been found in accordance with the order, he added.

"These tanneries have been illegally operational even though their front gates remained locked. This is not possible without officials of electricity department and pollution board department in cahoots with them (tanneries)," Pandey said.

Probe has been ordered against one Assistant Engineer and four Junior Engineers of KESCO in the Jajmau region where these tanneries are situated and strict action will be taken once the report is out, he said.

The district administration has asked over 350 tanneries to neither use water at their units nor release their effluents into River Ganga till the pilgrimage is in progress.

The directive is aimed to provide pilgrims at the Kumbh Mela a clean and unpolluted river when they take holy dip in its waters, an official said earlier.

From January 11 till February 13 and then from February 22 till the 24th of that month and again between March 6 and 9, tanneries in the city are under orders not to use water in the production process. Only dry leather work is permitted.

PTI