Kanpur: A city being killed by pollution

North Indian city famed for its tanneries is being choked by untreated effluents that are blighting its population.


The city of Kanpur in the north Indian state Uttar Pradesh is famed for its leather industry, meeting national and international demands for superior quality leather.

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The industry, which employs thousands and earns a lot of revenue, however, has a notorious side to it. 

It is a source of hazardous pollution that, environmentalists say, is gradully killing the city.

Each day, the tanneries pump out about 30 crore litres of polluted water into the adjacent Ganges river. The city's water treatment unit, however, has a capacity of treating 17 crore litres per day.

Kanpur also generates 400 tonnes of solid waste. 

The rampant pollution has contaminated ground water sources. There are reports of increasing deformaties among new born babies. Farmers complain their fields are turning toxic.

This photo-essay portrays the tragedy that has overtaken Kanpur.

Text by Sudhiti Naskar