Taking a worthwhile step forward, the recently-floated Solar Energy Association of Tamil Nadu (SEAT) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a Chinese firm to set up a model 5 MW solar power plant in the hinterlands of Tirupur.

The SEAT was floated by a group of industrialists from Tirupur and its peripheral areas to promote tapping and use of solar energy through a consortium approach in industrial clusters across the State.

TNPCB issues consent to establish two such sludge disposal facilities at Tirupur and Karur.

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.

The Integrated Processing Development Scheme, recently announced in the Union Budget for the textile sector, will enable development of new textile processing parks and also improve infrastructure, including effluent treatment facilities, in the existing textile processing centres through public private partnerships.

With an outlay of Rs. 500 crore for the XII Plan period, the scheme looks at leveraging Rs. 5,000 crore investment in the segment. The budget has proposed Rs. 50 crore allocation for 2013-2014. Details of the scheme are expected soon.

Vehicles proceeding towards Omalur Main Road diverted for three hours. Farmers from seven districts gathered in protest against the Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) gas pipeline cutting through their farmlands on Tuesday. They assembled near the Five Road Junction and attempted to lay siege to the GAIL’s office. Police removed 834 persons, including 80 women. They were later released in the evening.

The Coimbatore district has achieved a total coverage of 98.36 per cent during the second phase of the pulse polio programme on Sunday.

According to Deputy Director of Health Services R. Damodharan, of the targeted 3,31,450 children in the age group of 0 to 5 years, oral polio vaccine was administered to 3,26,001 children. Giving a break-up, he said that 1,84,950 children in rural areas and 1,41,051 children in urban areas (Mettupalayam, Pollachi and Corporation areas) took part in the campaign.

The National Green Tribunal, Southern Bench, on Tuesday ordered notice to the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) and other authorities, including the District Collector, Namakkal, asking them to explain the steps taken against illegal dyeing units running near Rasipuram in that district without effluent treatment plants and which were closed in Tirupur and Erode on orders of the Madras High Court.

J.Srinivasa Mohan, counsel for the villagers, said, “Following the orders of the Madras High Court, dyeing units running without effluent treatment plants were closed. However, illegal units are being set up rampantly in other parts of State such as Rasipuram.

A report on drought-like situation in Tirupur district by Department of Agriculture, which was accessed by The Hindu , has stated that 92,327 farmers were affected during the current financial year.

On the cropping area, the drought-like situation had taken a toll on 75,879 hectares brought under cultivation of various crops over kharif and rabi seasons during this fiscal till December 31.

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.

They dump tonnes of effluents into Cauvery, Bhavani rivers that feed lands of thousands of farmers

Erode and Namakkal have emerged safe havens for scores of dyeing units that had to shut shop in Tirupur after the Madras High Court ordered their closure for flouting pollution norms two years ago. In spite of the efforts of the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB), several illegal units continue to flourish in these districts and dump tonnes of effluents into the Cauvery and Bhavani rivers that feed agricultural lands of thousands of farmers.