The polluting units give least regard to the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board directive
Pitchaikkaranpallam Odai continues to be the favourite spot for dyeing units to dispose of sludge surreptitiously, much to the consternation of residents in the surrounding localities and the farming community.
Hundreds of plastic bags containing sludge dumped by textile and dyeing units and tanneries have opened up due to the rain in the last few days, emitting noxious odour in the Soolai area.
For the industrial units, dumping on the roadsides is a cheap way of disposal.
The polluting units give least regard to the directive of the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board to discard the sludge at Gummidipoondi, because of the cost factor.
The units use shortcut mechanisms for disposing of the hazardous sludge since they are charged Rs. 10,000 for disposal of one tonne of industrial wastes at the designated dump site at Gummidipoondi, official sources said.
The units are required to become members of Industrial Waste Management Association to utilise the dump yard.
Divisional Engineer of Pollution Control Board, Gopalakrishnan, said polluting units have been disposing of the sludge stealthily.
According to him, there could be a perennial solution to the problem referring to a trial run in progress for using sludge as an additive for cement.
In the event of the trial run yielding positive results, a possibility would arise for cement industries to procure the sludge from the textile, dyeing and tannery units.
Soolai area would be brought under watch to prevent industries from treating the place as a dump site, Mr. Gopalakrishnan said.
Developed countries adopt thermal utilisation techniques such as thermal drying, co-incineration and mono-incineration for transforming sludge waste into secondary fuel for coal-fired power plants, a knowledgeable source said.
The source added that the several nutrients sludge contains include nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, micronutrients, and organic compounds.