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Govt tries to clean up polluted 'Jeans Capital'
Mar '11
Xintang, an industrial town to the south of China, popularly described as "jeans capital of the world" is paving ahead on the path of curtailing pollution.

The city each year produces 260 million pair of jeans, which make up for around 40 percent of the total jeans that are annually sold in the US.

The processes of dyeing, washing and bleaching of these Xintang jeans are some of the filthiest jobs in the textile industry, involving use of huge quantity of water, heavy metals and other chemicals. These processes ultimately end up in release of huge quantity of dye and liquid waste in rivers near the factories, and have thus converted the water channels in to dark and oozing stinking streams.

Head of the city's environmental protection bureau, Huang Jianping, revealed that Xintang allocated $119 million for purification of Xipi, Shuinan Zhichong, Niushizhen and Fenghuang rivers. But then, she did confess that a major part of these funds went into compensating the people dwelling on the river banks as they were required to shift elsewhere.

The official who has meet with success in closing several dyeing units which failed to adhere to the environmental norms, while commenting on the Xintang's move said that, it cannot be accepted as a sustainable solution as eventually it harms the economy.

She even added that, there are many water treatment plants with an overall daily capacity of 400,000 tons for treating and monitoring total water discharge from factories and 80 percent from households.

However, official reports released in December last year revealed that, the analysis carried out by a private laboratory found presence of heavy metals like cadmium, copper and lead in 17 out of 21 water and sediment samples collected from Xintang and Gurao, which too is a leading textile town located to the south of China, which specializes in innerrwear.

The reports revealed that, the cadmium level in a sediment sample picked from Xintang was found to be as high as 128 times higher than the environmental norms fixed by the country.

Further, the country's new five-year plan, which provides for advanced environmental provisions for dealing with water, air and soil pollution, would shortly be taken up for voting in the Parliament.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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