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River Pollution: Apex court slaps fine on Tirupur cluster

Oct '09
The Supreme Court has imposed a fine of Rs. 556 million on the industrialists of Tirupur in Tamil Nadu for polluting the Noyyal River. These industrialists are associated with dyeing and bleaching work.

This heavy cost has been imposed on the Tirupur industrialists, after dismissing their joint appeal against a 2006 ruling, of the Madras High Court, by the bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Justice B.S. Chauhan.

The court said that it is essential to uphold the principles of 'Polluters Pay' and 'Sustainable Developments', which are enshrined in environmental laws of country.

The lower court had imposed the fine for cleaning and distilling the river as well as for paying damages to farmers, as the farming land had become unfertile due to the polluted water. However, the river is almost beyond redemption now.

The apex court, had given a period of three months to the polluting industries to pay fine, and had also asked the industrialists to deposit a sum of Rs.250 million with the Madras High Court, during the adjudication of their lawsuit.

The high court's ruling was on a public interest lawsuit filed by Noyyal River Ayacutdars Protection Association, a civil society group that demanded court's intervention in making the Noyyal River free from pollution and to preserve the ecology.

The association complained that the Tirupur industrialists had been polluting the river water, by discharging industrial effluents into the river, which cannot be utilized for drinking and irrigation. The poisonous effluents from the industries also had affected the Orthapalayam reservoir and other tanks and channels of the river, contended the petitioner.

Tirupur is well recognized for fine cotton T-shirts and hosiery. The garment industrialists of the district are strong competitors of cotton garment exporters of China and Bangladesh. The textile industrial hub of the district employs around 0.5 million people and brings in approximately Rs. 100 billion foreign exchange into the country per year.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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