Agriculture Lands are poisoned by textile processing units

Kadaiyampatti village families’ plight

Unproductive land:Indiscriminate discharge of effluents has severely affected the agricultural activities of families in Kadaiyampatti near Bhavani. — PHOTO:M. GOVARTHAN

ERODE: The families depending on the income from agriculture in Kadaiyampatti village, near Bhavani, are slowly quitting their profession as the textile processing units in the area are poisoning their lands by discharging chemical effluents.

Huge amount of untreated effluents are being let into the cultivable land, vacant space and water carrying channels. “The effluents got stagnated on the land and percolated deep into the ground, poisoning the soil and the ground water,” people in the village point out.

The agricultural productivity has come down drastically. The soil has become unproductive.

“There is a sharp fall in the crop yield. Agriculture is no longer fetching good income for us. Already a significant number of people in the village have quit farming and started selling their lands,” K.R.Palanisamy, a farmer in the village says.

What is more bothering is that the textile processing units are buying these lands and letting out effluents into them.

“All the nearby lands are affected due to this practice,” farmers said.

Environment

“The entire environment in the village is polluted. Children and women fall ill very often. A significant number of people have already moved to Bhavani and Erode,” farmers point out. Farmers, who made repeated representations to the authorities concerned earlier, have now stopped complaining.

“There is no point in complaining as officials at the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board and the district administration remain mute spectators. They know that we are suffering at the hands of textile processing units. We have complained umpteen times to the Collector at the grievances redressal meeting. But still no fruitful steps have been taken up to shutdown these units,” farmers lament.

“It seems the authorities want to see all of us quit farming and give way for the textile processing units to pollute the environment more,” villagers charge.

Officials, when contacted, maintained that they were taking action against the textile processing units, which were violating the rules.

“If authorities’ shutdown a unit, the machineries are shifted to another building to start a new unit and continue to pollute the environment.

The Central and State governments should bring in an effective solution to this issue and protect the agriculture,” farmers demand.

S. Ramesh – From THE HINDU

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Industrial effluents polluting Gujarat rivers, says forum

Pollution contents were 300 to 1,000 per cent more than the norms

The Gujarat Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti, a voluntary organisation working for environmental protection, has come out with startling facts on how the badly treated industrial effluents are being dumped in the major rivers in the State and in the sea.

The rivers include the Narmada, Mahisagar, Sabamarti and Damanganga and the sea outlet is in the Gulf of Cambay.

Samiti convener Rohit Prajapati said all the shocking figures about the pollution contents in the sewage disposal had been obtained from the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) and the Central Pollution Control Board through the Right to Information Act.

He said that in most cases it was found that the pollution contents were about 300 per cent to over 1,000 per cent more than the norms set by the GPCB and even the effluent treatment plants set up by the State or the Central governments were malfunctioning dumping huge quantities of pollutants in the rivers or the sea as well as afflicting the local population.

He pointed out that in the wake of the Bhopal gas disaster when many affected people and voluntary organisations approached the court of law, the government woke up to the situation and at the intervention of the courts, tried to enforce measures for the treatment of effluents before discharging them in the public places.

But under pressure from the industries, the “polluter pays” theory was given the go-by and in most of the cases the industrial units discharging pollutants were made to pay only 20 per cent of the cost with the remaining 80 per cent coming from the general tax payers, the State and Central government funds and the financial institutions.

The industrial houses did not even bother to maintain the treatment plants or expand its capacity when the load increased. The GPCB kept on issuing notices, but no one ever bothered about violation of its norms and the Board remained a silent spectator doing nothing to make the industrial houses bend.

A legal notice issued by the GPCB to a waste and effluent management company at Sarigam in Bulsar district show the helplessness of the government-controlled body.

The notice, issued on December 4 last, pointed out that the concentrations such as the Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD), Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD), Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), Chloride, Ammoniacal Nitrogen, Phenolic Compound, Sulphides, Zinc and other pollutants in the effluents dumped in Tadgam village were much higher than the prescribed norms of the Board.

And yet neither any remedial measure had so far been taken by the company nor did the board take any follow-up action.

The GPCB sources admitted that the wastes discharged in the Damanganga from the Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CEPT) of the industrial houses in Vapi contained 347 per cent more COD, 432 per cent more TDS and 196 per cent more Ammoniacal Nitrogen, a serious health hazard, compared to the GPCB prescribed norms.

The conditions were worse in Ankleshwar which carry into the Gulf of Cambay 248 per cent more COD and 1,328 per cent more Ammoniacal Nitrogen.

The effluent channel project of Vadodara dumping waste water into the estuary of the Mahisagar was found to be carrying 300 to 700 per cent more than the prescribed norms of COD, BOD, Ammoniacal Nitrogen, TDS, Cyanide, phenols and other hazardous pollutants.

The pollution contents in the effluents dumped in the Sabarmati from the industrial estates in Vatva, Odhav and Naroda around Ahmedabad city were found to be alarmingly high, 2,926 per cent more of COD, 2,520 per cent more of Ammoniacal Nitrogen and 780 per cent more of TDS.

The much-touted Rs.131-crore Final Effluent Treatment Plant (FETP) — constructed with the State and the Central governments and the State-owned Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation contributing over Rs.109 crore and the defaulting industries a mere Rs.21 crore, and inaugurated by Chief Minister Narendra Modi in January 2007 for treatment of water wastes of Ankleshwar, Panoli and Jhagadia chemical industrial estates — was found to be equally in a pathetic condition.

From THE HINDU

Stop discharging industrial effluents: villagers

STIR:Farmers who staged a demonstration in Tuticorin on Monday. — Photo: N. Rajesh.

Intervention of the district administration is needed, say farmers

Tuticorin: A group of villagers attached to Sernthapoomangalam and its surroundings approached the Collectorate here on Monday demanding for the intervention of the district administration to stop discharging the industrial effluents into their farm lands from industries. K.S.V. Subramanian, president, Authoorkulam Farmers’ Club, Keeranur, Tiruchendur taluk, said that the lives of over 3,000 families from 16 villages who solely depend on agriculture were being affected. A petition to this effect was submitted.

From THE HINDU

CPI plea to government on effluent discharge into canal

ERODE: Communist Party of India State Secretary D. Pandian has urged the State Government to put an end to the discharge of effluents into the Kalingarayan canal.

Water source

Talking to mediapersons after inaugurating the party’s fund-raising campaign in Erode on Sunday, he said that the channel, a major water source for a large number of farmers in the district, was heavily polluted and the government should initiate immediate efforts to protect it.

Mr. Pandian also criticised the government for the continuing power shortage in the State.

The successive governments in Tamil Nadu had failed to take steps to enhance power generation capacity in the last 30 years, he said.

Price rise

On the issue of price rise, he said that a change in the regime at the Centre or in the policies of the government was required to control the prices of essential commodities.

He said that the fund-raising campaign would also help the party learn various issues faced by the poor in the State. Senior party functionaries were present.

From THE HINDU

Tirupur: 100 dyeing units get closure orders

Power supply to these units disconnected

They failed to comply with Supreme Court orders Consent order given to 13 CETPs

Tirupur: The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) on Friday ordered closure of 100 dyeing units in the Tirupur knitwear cluster which failed to comply with the recent Supreme Court order pertaining to pollution caused by the dyeing units on River Noyyal. The power supply to these units was also disconnected.

TNPCB District Environmental Engineer R. Kannan told The Hindu that according to the Supreme Court ruling, the units which either failed to remit the fines imposed for polluting River Noyyal or those units which were members of Common Effluent Treatment Plants (CETPs) which failed to fit Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) system all before January 5 evening, should be closed.

The Supreme Court verdict was pronounced after hearing the Public Interest Litigation filed by ‘Noyyal River Ayacutdars Protection Association.’

The bench comprising Chief Justice K. G. Balakrishnan and Justice B. S. Chauhan observed that “Undoubtedly, there has been unabted pollution by the members of Tirupur Dyeing Factory Owners Association” and hence, “they were bound to meet the expenses of removing sludge in the river as well as cleaning of Orathupalayam dam.”

The court also asked the dyeing units to carry out further operations without polluting the river anymore. The TNPCB on Friday gave the consent order to operate 13 Common Effluent Treatment Plants (CETPs) set up in the cluster which had completed fitting ZLD system in it. But not given to six others.

From THE HINDU

Farmers take out procession against pollution in water bodies

Staff Reporter

Textile processing units continue to let effluents into rivers

In one voice: Farmers taking out a procession in Erode on Friday against pollution in water bodies-PHOTO: M.GOVARTHAN

In one voice: Farmers taking out a procession in Erode on Friday against pollution in water bodies.-PHOTO: M.GOVARTHAN

ERODE: Farmers affiliated to the Kalingarayan Canal Farmers Association, members of Suriyamapalayam Residents Welfare Association and a couple of other farmers organisations took out a procession on Friday condemning pollution in water bodies.

Head of the Kalingarayan Canal Farmers Association V.M. Velayudham told reporters that though the court had given clear cut orders that water bodies and irrigation channels should not be polluted, textile processing units and tanneries continued to discharge effluents into water bodies.

The industries to satisfy court and officials had installed reverse osmosis (RO) plants but were not operating them, because of which Kalingarayan Canal was polluted.

River Cauvery was also polluted, the farmers representative said and added as a result of the pollution, agriculture produce grown from lands fed with polluted water contained poisonous chemicals. The government had announced a scheme to sea discharge effluents but nothing much of it came out in the last two years since the announcement, Mr. Velayudham said and wanted to know what would the industries do until the project was implemented. “Would they continue to discharge in water bodies?”

He also took exception to a few industry representatives claiming that the bleaching units did not require RO plants to treat effluents. “The Madras High Court order clearly mentions that the industries should install RO plants.”

The farmers representative further said that the textile processing industry was fighting the district administration, the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board and everybody else trying to control pollution.

The participants then marched from V.O.C. Park grounds to the Collectorate to submit a petition to the Collector to take stringent action against the erring units.

By THE HINDU

Textile dyeing industries sealed

Erode, Jul 23: Pollution Control Board (PCB) authorities here has sealed 56 textile dyeing industries on the banks of river Cauvery in Namakkal district for discharging untreated effluents into the drains near the river.

A team of PCB officials visited various dyeing industries in Pallipalayam, Aavarankaru, Aavathipalayam, Samayasangili and found that effluent treatment or reverse osmosis plants were not installed and the effluent was not treated properly in 56 dyeing industries, official sources said.

Power connections were also disconnected in some of the units. Warning notices were served to 20 ther dyeing industries, the sources said.

Meanwhile, the strike by about 300 bleaching factory owners in Erode entered the fourth day today demanding the PCB not to insist them to erect Reverse Osmosis plants in tiny sector. – Agencies

By the Chennai Online