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Zero liquid discharge norms put Tirupur, Karur textile units in a bind

LN Revathy Coimbatore | Updated on April 01, 2018

Exporters in Tirupur and Karur, who until recently were proud of their achievements in export trade, now aver that they are at a disadvantage because of the zero liquid discharge (ZLD) norms stipulated of the State government.

“There is no such stipulation anywhere else in India. This has put us in a dicey situation,” said an industry insider.

Prabhu Damodharan, secretary, Indian Texpreneurs’ Federation, said that if the ZLD norms are imposed in clusters like Tirupur, which has no perennial river, or Karur, where the Cauvery is practically dry, then it should be imposed across all textile clusters/zones in the country.

“In other countries, there is only such a thing as “treated discharge,” he said.

Participants at a panel discussion on “Is India’s cotton textiles losing its competitiveness?” pointed out that ZLD was introduced in Tamil Nadu in 2005.

“In 2010, because of Green Peace, China was forced to say that they would not discharge harmful chemicals by 2020. Their target is way off from where we are, for even in 2020, China would continue to discharge, but ensure that it is not harmful,” said S Dhananjayan, senior auditor and advisor to Tirupur Exporters’ Association.

Industry sources say that this has pushed the cost for the units located in Tirupur and Karur by 15 per cent, compared with the costs in China. “Buyers do not recognise our effort or offer one per cent premium for this.” “While strict environmental stipulations, ZLD and social compliance is forced on clusters like Tirupur, none of these are thrust on Bangladesh. This has resulted in price disparity of not less than 15 per cent vis-a-vis garments manufactured in Vietnam or Bangladesh,” Dhaananjayan said. Tirupur cluster consumes not less than 10 crore litres of water a day. Of this, 9 crore litres is recycled and re-used. Such strict stipulations hurt the domestic industry, say sources

Published on April 01, 2018

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