Kumbh Mela 2019 may shut down 60 paper mills’ operation in Western UP for three months

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Impact of Kumbh Mela to be held in Allahabad in 2019 on Paper Mills .

Kumbh Mela 2019 may shut down 60 paper mills’ operation in Western UP for three months

New Delhi | 26 Oct 2018 | The Pulp and Paper Times

The Government of Uttar Pradesh has taken a decision to close the 60 paper mills of western Uttar Pradesh including tanneries operating in Kanpur and Unnao, between 15 December to 15 March, 2019, to provide clean water for devotees participating in the upcoming Ardh Kumbh festival.

The Kumbh Mela is to be held in Allahabad for two months, between 15 January and 4 March, 2019. The decision is creating tension and disruption among the paper mills owners. Talking to The Pulp and Paper Times, Mr. Arvind Agarwal, President of NCR Paper Mills Association and Managing Director of Paswara Papers Ltd. said “lt is absolutely unjustified & arbitrary decisions of the State Govt. if the Units, those are discharging their treated Effluent within specified Norms of U.P. Pollution Control Board, will remain shut down during Kumbh Mela-2O19.”

If the State Govt. doesn’t alter its decision, it will cause Rs. 3600 Cr. revenue loss to paper mills in region in three months. “We have calculated the loss of revenue which is Rs. 40 cr. daily and 15000 Metric Tonnes production loss per day. This decision will create trouble for corrugation units in procuring the raw material for Box Making which is essentially is Kraft paper. It is a perplexed situation for us, how we can retain our buyers (corrugators) in this critical three months as they will defiantly search for new market or supplier for boxes.” Mr. Agarwal said.

 “On one hand our Hon'ble Prime Minister of lndia is dreaming, "UNDER MAKE lN INDIA PROGRAMME" to make lndia a manufacturing Hub so that all the Goods are to be made in India so that India may be self dependent & U.P. State Govt. is also showcasing its industrial Policy 2017 & holding investors’ Summit to invite investors for the Industrialization of the State & to generate employment. But on other hand the existing running Units are up-rooted which is not justified & absolutely illegal & contrary to the efforts of State Govt. for lndustrialization & employment generation.” Mr. Agarwal Explained.        

The order for closure was released by principal secretary environment Renuka Kumar in June, 2018 wherein she had issued directives to authorities concerned, including UP Pollution Control Board, Urban Development department and Jal Nigam to initiate closure of Paper Mills of West UP. Unnao and Kanpur tanneries from December 15, 2018 to March 15, 2019. Notably, the Yogi government had made it clear that no effluent would be released by the tanneries into Ganga in order to keep it clean for Kumbh Mela as the seers had threatened to boycott Shahi Snans (royal bathings) during the upcoming mela due to the high levels of pollution in the river.

“If we are following the pollution norm for water treatment, the state govt must change its decision for ETP units. We will meet UP administration regarding this to look into this matter.” Mr. Agarwal said.

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