Action follows complaints from farmers against units operating without installing zero liquid discharge system

A flying squad from the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) searched five dyeing units operating on the sly in Karur on Thursday and seized yarn worth Rs. 1 lakh kept for dyeing.

The action followed complaints from farmers that some unscrupulous elements were carrying on dyeing without installing zero liquid discharge system and were letting out untreated effluents that devastate agricultural fields.

Collector S. Jayandhi had promised action against errant units saying a team of revenue, police, and TNPCB officials would swoop on polluters and take punitive action against them.

On Thursday, a team of TNPCB officials from Erode district, along with local TNPCB officials lead by district environmental engineer R. Seralathan, raided around five dyeing units along the banks of the Amaravathy. They confiscated yarn worth around Rs. 1 lakh and held discussions, but could not move forward on the punitive action promised. Ms. Jayandhi, who got wind of the search operation, gave directions for further action that made the officials shift gear on the issue.

They raided two dyeing units at Mavadian Koil Street where dyeing was being resorted to by the lessee of the units that had never applied for consent from the TNPCB, which prima facie constituted an offence. The team by then had expanded to include revenue, police, and other department officials.

The High Court had mandated that dyeing units, both in the common effluent treatment platform and those operating their own ETPs, install zero liquid discharge system to continue functioning.

But there had been widespread allegations that many units were flouting the norms. Stern action commenced against them on Thursday as could be seen from the two-phase raid that lasted till evening. Ms. Jayandhi told The Hindu that penal action, including legally-sanctioned demolition, would be initiated against the errant units.

TNPCB sources said that action had been taken against a dozen dyeing units that had been operating illegally in the last month.

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