Tirupur dyeing units suspend operations

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Ask State to offset capex on effluent treatment plants.

One of the dyeing units in Tirupur that stopped work on on Friday.
One of the dyeing units in Tirupur that stopped work on on Friday.

L. N. Revathy

Coimbatore, Dec. 25

The dyeing units affiliated to the Dyers' Association of Tirupur (DAT) commenced indefinite suspension of work from Friday. They alleged that the Government had been indifferent to their appeal to offset the capital expenditure of Rs 800-odd crore incurred on setting up 20 Common Effluent Treatment Plants (CETPs).

Apparel units hit hard

This came as a major blow to the apparel industry in the knitwear cluster of Tirupur. The dyeing process, sources said, came to a halt following DAT's decision to strike work.

While the 520-plus dyeing units observed strike on Friday, about 20 per cent of them are expected to resume work from Saturday. These units are said to be outside the knitwear cluster and operated by exporters/manufacturers.

“The token strike by the units outside the cluster is only to give moral support to DAT's demand,' the Tirupur Exporters' Association Vice-President, Mr S. Duraiswamy, said. (The dyeing units operated by exporters, which also holds membership in DAT, however, had already installed individual ETPs and hence are not willing to take part in the agitation.)

The DAT has been pleading with the Government for release of grants to offset the capital expenditure of Rs 800-odd crore incurred for establishing the CETPs embedded with zero liquid discharge to comply with the pollution control norms and Court Order.

The DAT office bearers, meanwhile, are in Chennai to discuss the issue with the State Minister for Textiles, Mr K. K. S. S. R. Ramachandran, and seek immediate release of grant. It is reliably learnt that the Minister has assured help to resolve the crisis, but the conciliatory talks on Friday seemed to have yielded ‘no immediate result'.

The units are under pressure as they have been directed by the Supreme Court to pay the arrears of Rs 42.65 crore from the total fine amount of Rs 67.65 crore imposed for polluting the Noyyal river, before January 5.

A section of DAT members said they invested crores of rupees for setting up individual effluent treatment plants.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated December 26, 2009)
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