Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath has ordered the closure of all tanneries in Kanpur from December 15 to March 15, 2019 in an effort to clean up the Ganga river ahead of the Ardh Kumbh Mela in Allahabad next year, PTI reported on Thursday. The Ardh Kumbh is a mass pilgrimage held every 12 years in Uttar Pradesh on the banks of the Ganga.

Adityanath, who convened a meeting of tannery owners on Wednesdatm had issued the order to ensure that pilgrims take a dip in clean Ganga water during the mela, a government spokesperson said on Thursday. Adityanath also ordered state officials to monitor effluents being released from tanneries and asked for a report to be submitted to his office.

Adityanath asked officials to ensure that waste is not dumped into the river between Garhmukteshwar and Varanasi during this period. He also reviewed the progress of the Namami Gange programme, a mission aimed at conservation and rejuvenation of the Ganga river.