The closure of textile processing units in Tirupur has opened new business frontiers for a few persons who have raked in big bucks helping the units shift base to Erode and surroundings and in the process, adding to the pollution levels of the area.
Senior revenue officials, while demolishing the illegal dyeing units in Erode, found a few agents who facilitated the establishment of textile processing units on private lands located along the banks of the Cauvery and the Bhavani Rivers for a handsome commission. “Owners of many small and medium textile processing units in Tirupur, who could not afford the loss due to the closure, were the customers of these agents.
The primary job of these agents is to identify private lands near the banks of the rivers and water carrying channels, and negotiate with the land owners to give a portion of their lands and buildings for temporary establishment of illegal dyeing units,” officials explained. This led to the foundation of a flourishing business for the agents and the shifting of a number of dyeing units from Tiruppur to Erode and Namakkal districts illegally.
“The deal was so attractive that many land owners gave their lands for a monthly rent. The dyers from Tirupur paid Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 30,000 as monthly rent for half acre of land,” a senior official here points out.
The rent was higher for lands that were located very close to the banks of the rivers and water-carrying channels.
The agents were given a one-time payment of Rs. 50,000. “Most of the agents we have enquired are boiler mechanics. Since they have contacts with the owners of many dyeing units, they become agents to earn quick money,” officials say.
The administration, however, warned that stern action would be initiated against those found providing lands for the establishment of dyeing units illegally.
“We have already taken steps to initiate criminal action against persons who provided lands to the illegal units that were demolished during the past few days,” officials say.