Farmers wonder why they were left in the limbo for over two decades

Farmers' voice is slowly gaining value when it comes to the discussions related to the issues on pollution of River Noyyal in the wake of the High Court order for the closure of the entire dyeing and bleaching units in Tirupur.

The industrial associations and political parties are now vying with each other to call for a tripartite committee comprising representatives of industry, farmers and government officials to tide over the crisis encountered in the knitwear sector following the closing down of the dyeing units.

“Where were all these suggestions when the farmers had been at the receiving end for almost over two decades and the dyeing industry was showing only reluctance to comply even with the Supreme Court directive?,” Noyyal River Ayacutdars Protection Association (NRAPA) president A. P. Kandasamy, on whose contempt petitions the Madras High Court ordered the closure, asked The Hindu.

Mr. Kandasamy clarified that no one from the industrial sector had even discussed of any formation of tripartite committees when the NRAPA was fighting the pollution issue legally since 1996. “It was only after the closure of the units, they wanted these possibilities to be explored,” he pointed out.

Meanwhile, the contradictory statements by the industrial fraternity on the chances of achieving zero liquid discharge has invited the wrath of the farming community.

On one hand the joint statements issued by Tirupur Exporters Association, Dyers Association and few other associations a few days ago had stated that zero liquid discharge was not possible.

But only a few days later, as many as 16 units run by the representatives of various industrial associations had forwarded their representations to the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board claiming that their effluent treatment plants had been achieving zero liquid discharge and hence, should be allowed to operate the units again.

“These statements are paradoxical and made according to the situation just to escape from the present predicament,” Tirupur Groundwater Protection Committee president K. Duraisami said.