They are located in Pallipalayam, Kumarapalayam

Officials of the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) and Revenue Department on Monday demolished 122 dyeing units that were functioning illegally at Pallipalayam and Kumarapalayam.

They were located two to five km from the Cauvery in Tiruchengode taluk.

District Environmental Engineer K. Gokuladas told The Hindu that the demolished units had not obtained licence or other forms of clearance from the TNPCB or other departments.

Supervising the demolition of 56 of the 76 dyeing units and nine cement tanks used for manual dyeing at Pallipalayam, Mr. Gokuladas said the proximity of the units to the river was against norms stipulated by the TNPCB to prevent pollution of rivers.

According to him, most of the demolished units were set up when their parent units in Tirupur were sealed after a court order on pollution. Of the total 76 dyeing units in Pallipalayam, only 13 had licence.

While 56 units were demolished on Monday, seven others will be removed on Tuesday, he said. The complete demolition of the machinery was aimed at preventing mushrooming of similar units in a different locality, the official said.

He said that 48 such units were destroyed in the Pallipalayam area during four raids conducted in the past. Survey to identify illegal dyeing units would continue.

Heated argument

Owners of the dyeing units at Pallipalayam led by their association president T.S. Kandasamy tried to halt the demolition, claiming that units that had licence were also demolished. A heated argument between PCB officials and owners of the units came to an end when the eviction continued with police protection.

PCB officials clarified that they had demolished only unauthorised units. The ones claimed to be legal had obtained licence for dyeing threads and other processes but were misused for dyeing cloth. Therefore, they were demolished.

In another drive at Kumarapalayam, 66 dyeing machines were destroyed. Here too, unauthorised winches from Tirupur occupied a major share of the demolished illegal units, PCB officials said.

In Erode, Village Administrative Officers have been asked to collect details regarding the textile processing and tannery units functioning in their respective areas.

This followed the detection and demolition of more than 40 illegal units over the last few days.

The units were letting out untreated effluents into the Cauvery and the Bhavani. These units too were set up following the closure order in Tirupur.

“Since we found many units functioning without approval in the district, we have decided to collect the details about all the textile and leather processing units,” District Collector C. Kamaraj said.

The administration has asked the VAOs to collect the information and submit a report by April 27.

Based on the report, the drive will be intensified. Units that had approval, but were causing pollution, will face legal action, officials said.

The administration had also taken steps to initiate criminal action against the owners of the illegal units that were demolished.

“We are compiling a detailed report for this purpose,” Revenue Divisional Officer R. Sukumar has said.

Keywords: river pollution

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