District level officials of Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board have decided to keep a tab on private plastic recycling units operating outside their radar following recent incidents of illegal wast

Those in Ondipudur on Monday petitioned District Collector M. Karunagaran, against the Coimbatore Corporation’s move to construct a sewage treatment plant there.

The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board has asked those running the Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) at Karaipudur here to utilise all the equipment installed for achieving zero liquid discharge (ZLD) norms at appropriate cycles or face closure.

Board District Environmental Engineer R. Kannan told The Hindu that instructions were given to the effluent plant owners after it was noticed during one of the recent inspections that treated effluents were yet to reach the evaporator and Reverse Osmosis (RO) appliances even though it had been lying in the storage tank.

Cities are creaking under their own weight. And heat. In Surat, for instance, parts of the city with dense concrete jungles swelter at temperatures 5 degrees higher than the city’s greener parts.

Owners reaping profit at the expense of environment

The district administration has come under severe criticism yet again for the inordinate delay in sealing large number of dyeing units caught for illegal operations. Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board sources told The Hindu that over 30 dyeing units, which were caught over the last six months, were yet to be sealed though the Board had given directives to the District Collector many months back.

Things changing for good on the pollution front; 16 CETPs, covering 420 dyeing units, have obtained TNPCB permission

It is now two years since the Madras High Court delivered a landmark judgment ordering the closure of dyeing and bleaching units in the Tirupur knitwear cluster for polluting the river Noyyal for decades. The order was pronounced solely because the dyeing fraternity did not adhere to the zero liquid discharge (ZLD) norms despite the directions from the Supreme Court and High Court.

Inadequate fund allocation is hampering the ambitious Noyyal river system revival or restoration project and the meagre allocation of Rs. 30 lakh per annum is just proving to be insufficient even for carrying out emergency repairs to the channels and tanks.

Noyyal that originates in Western Ghats near Poondi and runs through Coimbatore, Tirupur and Erode, to become a tributary for Cauvery, is the lifeline of these districts. It runs for 65 km in Coimbatore, 34 in Tirupur and 39 in Erode before joining river Cauvery in Kodumudi. The system was once catering to the irrigation needs of over 36,000 acres.

The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board has detected four unauthorised dyeing units that were discharging effluents into River Noyyal through drains, during raids conducted over the last few days. Official sources said of the units, three were located at K. Chettipalayam and Thennampalayam in the Tirupur knitwear cluster and one in the hinterland.

“Two of the units have installed large scale winches that are capable of dyeing almost 500 kg of fabric in a ‘single lot’,” officials said. Of the other units, one was involved in the dyeing of accessories used in the apparels and another in small-scale dyeing of fabrics.

Many industrial units functioning near Kalingarayan Canal

Farmers in the Kalingarayan ayacut areas in the district are now forced to use water from Kalingarayan Canal that is mixed with untreated effluents and waste water discharged by textile processing and tannery units. The Public Works Department stopped on December 20 the discharge of water in the canal that feeds the ayacut. But the 56-and-a-half mile long irrigation canal connecting River Bhavani with River Noyyal still carries water. “The canal should be dry by this time. But there is still good flow in the canal because the industrial units are dumping thousands of gallons of untreated effluents and waste water every day,” alleges Kalingarayan Pasana Sabhai president V.M. Velayudham.

The Madras High Court on Thursday set aside a Tamil Nadu G.O.