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Is Kanpur sitting on powder keg?
Saturday October 22, 2016 1:10 PM, Shakeel Ahmad,

[Picture of children playing in a field of leather scraps in Kanpur. Photo: National Geography]

Is this city sprawling into an area of 403.67 square kilometres (155. 87 mi) sitting on the powder keg? A dialogue in this connection continued among a few intelligent persons. They were saying that there would be a very disastrous situation if any untoward incident might occur in the city.

It is this urban town which boasts of as many as five ordnance factories besides other volatile industrial units.

As we know, the colonial traders had started business in the light its strategic location. It was in the year 1860, the Harness and Saddler factory was set up to supply leather products to the military and the first cotton mills started operation in 1862.

This city is unique in itself which changed its name as many as eleven times. It has got its name either from Karnpur or Makanpur or Kanhpur or Khanpur or Cawnpore or Caunpore or Cawnpour or Caunpour or Caawnpore.

The Kotwali building still bears the city’s name as CAWNPORE. It also earned the credit of being called Manchester of East India. Presently, it is said to be the second largest industrial town in the north India following Delhi.

City's popular Lal Imli Mills are no longer producing that fine fabrics and various older tanneries are now closed due to reasons known to them.

Still possessing the tag of an industrial town, this city is surely not safe from air pollution. Clean air is not possible in its habituated areas. Cleanliness is not up to the mark. Even the drains emit chemical mixed putrefied smell. The roads are bumpy much to the aversion of vehicle users. Wherever we happen to go, the dug up road welcomes us with all the generosity. Irregular traffic on the roads adds salt to injury.

The residents do not know how far better civic facilities provide a satisfactory living. Fortunately, hapless residents are moving into a time span of availing faster and quicker metro facility. What they used to hear of the yester years trams will now come out as the metro rail.

Its inhabitants are compellingly saying that they are living on a latent explosive position persistently. Encircled by all these industrial hazards, the Kanpurites are forced to believe in their continued existence progressing on the powder keg.

Even though a good many people could contradict this negative approach instantly. But if they would ponder over this point, they surely could agree with those three men who started this discussion just to show their concern over various hazardous units. Although they are worried over this undesirable condition yet they failed to secure any detailed suitable scheme for bringing improvement.

They were exactly busy in demonstrating their strong resentment over such an inescapable situation. There was nothing like better days awaiting them because of their observations that are just reverse of the older popular mirth. Therefore, it is not wholly wrong to pore over the hypothesis of living on the powder keg.

The story of ghastly sight at the Massacre Ghat here was indeed unfortunate during the Colonial period.

For every disposition, there is an appropriate impracticality---a polite and diplomatic impracticality---fitted to the human brains. Every chain of deliberations may conclude in elation, and all roads lead to the river Ganga for obtaining emancipation.

But every people find the desolate sites changing into a lively graceful place where every so often we used to notice older sturdy buildings now disapprovingly standing deserted and weird.

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