Tirupur: It has been a long journey for the self-made town of Tirupur. The knitwear capital of the country is all set to become the seventh Municipal Corporation of Tamil Nadu. Though the town has a reputation of producing high fashion knitted garments to cater to the international market, it had been lagging behind in terms of infrastructure. The town, which had an export of Rs.15 crore in 1985, now exports garments over Rs.11,000 crore a year.
The city will have around 170 sq. km area under its jurisdiction soon. A tiny village, Tirupur, was elevated as Grade III municipality on December 1, 1917, by merging Karuvampalayam in the east, Thennampalayam in the south and Valipalayam in the north. Rao Sahib Sri Vittal Dass Anandhji was the first chairman of the municipality. The local body had only 16 councillors then.
It was in 1934 the local body was upgraded into a Grade II municipality, and then in 1967 it attained the status of Grade I municipality. With the rapid growth it became a special grade municipality in 1972. Since 1983, it has been functioning as a special grade municipality. Tirupur has a high floating population. Over 2 lakh workers from surrounding areas visit the town daily for work and trade. Tirupur also has the distinction of having the first ever Public Private Partnership project- the Rs.1,023-crore water supply scheme which was executed a couple of years ago. The scheme largely caters to the needs of dyeing and bleaching factories of the knitwear hub.
For the export community that is facing difficulty following the rupee appreciation, the elevation of their home town as Corporation has brought cheer and solace.
Even before getting the official tag, the town has been fondly called ‘Knit City or Dollar City’ by the industry.