In Jajmau, a suburb of Kanpur, India, is the epicentre of a legal and political battle to save India’s holiest river. Media reports are blaming tanneries in the Kanpur-Unnao industrial belt of Uttar Pradesh of discharging effluents into the river, untreated, which turns the Ganges black. This is the general perception of Kanpur leather sector in the media.

Yet, tanneries contribute to only 8% of the effluents that flow into the river according to a 2013 report released by the Centre of Science and Environment. Over 70% of the wastewater discharged into the river comes from paper and pulp industries, and distilleries. To add to that, many cities along the banks also dump domestic sewage water into the river.

The National Green Tribunal last year ordered closure of about 100 of the 402 registered tanneries along the Ganges. Another 100 have shut after the twin blows of demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax. Uttar Pradesh’s Chief Minister now wants the rest shifted out. The cluster, which contributes about a third of India’s leather exports, may disappear including all job opportunities.

With all this in mind, the Uttar Pradesh Leather Industry Association (UPLIA) together with UNIDO has been implementing the project to reduce the environmental footprint of the tanning industry in Kanpur. During the webinar Ivan Kral, Industrial Development Officer, UNIDO, will provide an overview of various technologies demonstrated and implemented at the Kanpur leather clusters and the challenges faced by the local leather industry, as part of the 40-minute ‘Total transparency when dealing with tannery waste’ webinar. The webinar will take place at 4pm (Central European time).

Hosted by ILM, the webinar is free to attend. To register, please click here. Participation is subject to approval and spaces are now very limited. The ‘Total transparency when dealing with tannery waste’ webinar is sponsored Smit & zoon.

Further information on the full presentation programme and speakers is available here.