Farmers of Punnam happy over decision to drop dyeing park plan

The public of Punnam are ecstatic at the shelving of the plan to establish an integrated dyeing park in their neighbourhood.

At the same time, home textile exporters and professional dyers in the town are dejected that their painstaking effort, kept under wraps for a long time, to establish the facility has come to a naught.

Textile industrialists are worried that their efforts to overcome the pollution control issues have not borne fruit as they are yet to find the right solution.

Home textile industries in Karur, once expected to breach the Rs.10,000-crore export mark by 2015, are tottering now courtesy a slew of negative factors, including yarn price fluctuation, manpower issues, rising input costs, stiff international competition, and the stringent pollution control norms.

“The most worrying factor is the pollution control cost. May be it is prohibitive but we have no other alternative. Our track record is not impressive and some of our brethren have compromised leaving us open to some valid criticism from several quarters. But we have to move forward and do something for a better future.

Finding the right solution to the vexatious pollution issues at the right speed is the need of the hour,” says a leading exporter who wishes to remain nameless. “The dyeing units bent all pollution control rules and invented some to remain active in the town during the past several years. Their decades of activity ensured that thousands of acres of fertile lands in Karur district got reduced to barren waste fit for nothing. The dyers left nothing to chance – they polluted air, water, and earth.

Now they are paying the price for their remorseless act and we are suffering due to them. The integrated park plan must not be allowed until they learn to follow all rules of pollution control,” say Nehru and Subramani, both farmers belonging to Punnam.

Their refrain reflects the voice of the common man and farmers from all round the district that has seen the worst of industrial pollution all these years.

Despite pollution control norms, many unscrupulous dyers took advantage of the loopholes in the law and even now may units operate on the sly.

“If the dyeing sector is reviled, then it has only itself to blame,” says T. Mukundanathan of Thinnappa Nagar and who has been in the textile sector for decades, witnessing the vicissitudes of fortunes. In fact, the dyers missed the bus by a long time indeed, he says.

Nobody believes in the dyeing unit owners any longer as theirs are promises never kept. They can be easily identified even if they camouflage and that is what happened in Punnam.

Establishing a textile park is not the same as forming a dyeing park. They must first understand that and plan their future, he says.