Tirupur exporters see bleak future after court order

Written by R Ravichandran | Chennai | Updated: Jan 30 2011, 06:58am hrs
Over 7,000 units, employing more than 5,00,000 people (both directly and indirectly), and with a business potential of around Rs 16,000 crore annually are in for a bleak future following the Madras High Court order on Friday to shut down over 715 bleaching/dyeing units, common effluent treatment plants (CETPs) and integrated effluent treatment plants (IETPs) in and around Tirupur in Tamil Nadu, the knitwear/garments capital of India.

Being the largest exporter of knitwear garments of India (Rs 12,000 crore annually), the order has put the entire industry comprising knitwear/garment exporters, bleaching, dyeing, makers of dye chemicals, embroidery, yarn suppliers, knitwear units, printing, packaging and transporters to near standstill. The entire industry is facing imminent closure with a little hope on a possible review hearing on Monday morning," said A Sakthivel, president of Tirupur Exporters Association.

This will not only impact our exports in a big way but also bring down our reputation as the knitwear capital of India in the international markets. The order will put the Rs 12,000 crore export industry doldrums, he said.

Despite huge investments (Rs 1,200 crore) made into CETPs/IETPs to attain zero liquid discharge (ZLD) over the years, the bleaching, dyeing units could not achieve so as there is no technology available, Sakshivel said.

We have been trying to do our best. Both the state and central governments should come forward to sort out the issue, he said. We hope the Madras High Court will have a review hearing on Monday.

It is believed that random checkings on the pollution level of the river, found the suspended effluents had the PPM level at 5,000 as against of 1,500 to 1,800 PPM. "The courts had given a long rope over the years but to their disappointment. And finally, Madras HC made a strong case for closure of all units which will take a toll on the entire spectrum," the sources maintained.

It may be recalled that despite severe warnings from both the high court and the Supreme Court for more than a decade, the units failed to adhere to the orders and continue to pollut the main water body which runs across Tirupur area.