The integrated textile park being set up at a cost of Rs. 7 billion in the coastal town of Cuddalore in the southern Indian State of Tamil Nadu will become operational in the next 12 months, Mr. T Kannan, Chairman of the National Textile Committee of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), has said.
Mr. Kannan said all required approvals for the park have been obtained and it will be ready in the next 12 months.
The Cuddalore park is being set up on an area of 150 acres under the Central Government's Integrated Textile Park Scheme, in association with Southern India Mills' Association (SIMA).
Thiagarajar Mills, Bannariamman, Loyal textiles and three companies from Tirupur are among the ten firms that are setting up their dyeing, bleaching and finishing units in the park.
The Cuddalore textile park has been facing opposition from environment activists and fishermen for more than three years. They fear that the release of toxic effluents into the sea by the textile units may cause harm to fisheries and environment.
Mr. Kannan said sea discharge is a globally accepted practice as textile effluents are only salt heavy and are not poisonous. He added that the effluents will be discharged into the sea only after proper treatment and they will not cause any harm to the sea.
He revealed that effluent water coming from textile units will be first treated and its colours will be removed before water is discharged into the sea. Thus, the water that reaches the sea is hard and will not cause any harm to the sea water, which is already salt heavy. He added that the sea discharge method is being followed by many textile units in Gujarat.
He explained that the dyeing units in Tirupur had to shut down as they could not afford the high costs of effluent treatment. He said Tirupur being a landlocked region has no access to sea, and hence it has to release its textile effluents into the soil. The water so discharged has to be treated properly and converted to soft water before being let into the soil; otherwise it will affect agriculture in the area.
He, however, added that zero-discharge as ordered by the High Court is very expensive. He said zero-discharge of hard water would cost about Rs. 0.50 per litre. In comparison, he said, sea discharge would cost just one-tenth of the same. Hence, a sustainable idea for textile dyeing units would be to relocate their processing units to the coastal region.
Fibre2fashion News Desk - India