, 15 tweets, 10 min read Read on Twitter
Dozens of villages in West UP lead hellish lives as a highly polluting industry has killed the river irrigating their region and has contaminated groundwater+soil to the extent they've given up groundwater consumption entirely.

My report for @SwarajyaMag coming shortly.
#Meerut's slaughterhouses first killed their river.

Now meat plants have contaminated their groundwater to the extent that they had to stop its use entirely.

My report from Western #UttarPradesh of a highly polluting industry and the state's abdication. swarajyamag.com/politics/groun…
This is state of groundwater in villages affected by slaughterhouses and meat plants in #Meerut's #Kharkhauda.

Govt has set up overhead water tanks away from villages with piped connections to villages BUT that's it. Villagers maintain those tanks w/ their own money.
#Cancer is getting as common as fever in these villages, people say. Lal Singh, 71, is suffering from throat cancer. His younger brother also passed away from abdominal cancer last year.

So many families have been torn apart by cancer in the region.
Shriom Tyagi also told me that their elders would say Kali Nadi was the reason their village came into being there like so many others.

Now the very element that once fecilitated their settlement has turned into their biggest nightmare -- water.
Activist Ravinder Gurjar has been following the industry for past 15 years and has been campaigning against them. He shares with us how meat plants pollute the soil+groundwater and how regional MLAs+MP and officials are all mum on the issue.
Today's @AmarUjalaNews:

All politically-affiliated activists have now stirred from their nests in the run up to elections.

As villagers told us they see this before every election. Nothing ever happens out of this, they say.
It's not just #Meerut alone. Slaughterhouses are contaminating #Ganga in #Varanasi too.

Waste treatment plants are a simple solution but a corrupt bureaucracy and political class along with a public with misplaced priorities spoil everything. timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/lucknow/p…
.@HindolSengupta writes on cattle smuggling w/ data+historical context and backs it with scholarly arguments.

Cattle theft/smuggling is indeed an issue in West UP where stolen cattle often feed illegal slaughter that affects communities in so many ways.
Villagers allege Kali Nadi and meat processing plants are a centre of attention around every election. They told us that there was even a token cleaning of the river around 2009 election but it was just a one day photo-op. Those cleaning the river never came back. All over again?
.@MP_Meerut has also raised the issue in parliament. Villagers had told us when we were reporting in the region that they had an idea that this would happen because this always happens around elections. Let's see what comes out of the MP's intervention.
Ravinder Gurjar alleged he was attacked for protesting against meat plants and blamed #BSP's controversial leader Yaqoob Qureshi who has a long history w/ meat trade and has often been at adds w/ law.


Here is what he told us:
Qureshi's plant is illegally built on government land and has demolition orders dating back to 2017. The demolition is slated to be on 12 February but the matter is in #Allahabad High Court. Some tweets on his history w/ the trade:

BSP's Qureshi ran #Meerut's 'kamela' that polluted Kali Nadi for years.
Kamela was demolished due to bad blood b/w Qureshi and SP strongman Azam Khan BUT now BSP and SP are poll-allies and Qureshi is BSP's in-charge for Meerut for #2019Elections.
Here are a few reports going back to 2010-11 on how the slaughterhouse run by Qureshi was killing Kali Nadi in #Meerut:

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