Congress MP Annu Tandon on Sunday said she would stoutly oppose the shifting of leather tanning industries from Jajmau and Kanpur to Banther Leather Park in Unnao.
“This can only be done over my dead body. I will die to oppose this,” said Tandon who represents Unnao in Lok Sabha. She was speaking to media persons here on Sunday.
Tandon said Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma had assured her that his ministry would not permit the shifting of industries from Jajmau and Kanpur to the Banther Leather Park in Unnao.
So, the State Government was under pressure now and a high level meeting had been convened here on Monday to discuss the issue, she said. Tandon quoted reports of the Indian Institute Toxicology Research (IITR) and the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) to make her point that the leather tanneries were polluting the environment in Unnao beyond repair.
“The IITR collected water samples from 18 sources and found that 13 samples exceeded the norms for Total Dissolved Solids,” said Tandon. “Fluoride levels were also higher in 13 samples,” she said.
“Most shocking finding of the report that chromium concentration in the so called treated water in both the Common Effluent Treatment Plants (CETPs) functioning at Dahi Chowki, Unnao and at the Banthar Leather Park, she said. “As it is the leather park has already started violating norms. On top of it if there are over 200 tanneries going to be relocated, Unnao will surely die,” she said.
The University of Columbia’s Earth Institute would be the partner in a central government project to develop Unnao as a model district in terms of creating health infrastructure and facilities there, said Tandon. The Central government would fund the project under the National Rural Health Mission (NHRM), she said.