Space constraints and the absence of modern infrastructure have prompted 35 textile manufacturing and processing units in Madurai to shift base to Kariapatti in neighbouring Virudhunagar district.
The units manufacture yarn and process them into fabrics before exporting them to various places. The units in Madurai generate an annual revenue of Rs. 100 crore by direct export and Rs. 350 crore by indirect export within India and to the US and the UK.Ritan N. Thakker, Chairman and Managing Director of Southern District Textile Processing Cluster, told The Hindu that 35 of the 70 units in Madurai would form a cluster at Kariapatti where 104 acres of land had been purchased. The industrial units had registered their names at the District Industries Centre in Virudhunagar and once the formalities were over, the construction of industrial units will begin. “We are planning to move our base to the new industrial cluster by the end of 2013. It will have a common effluent treatment plant with a processing capacity of 35 lakh litres a day. There will be a green belt of 30 acres in the industrial area,” he said.
The textile units in Madurai are scattered in and around the city and nearly 40 per cent of them are in Sellur, north of the Vaigai.
According to the industrialists, there is no scope for expansion of their units in Madurai owing to lack of space, strict norms of the Pollution Control Board and the lack of any opportunity to upgrade their technologies.
“We need more space to upgrade the technology of our units and to establish effluent treatment plants. Our units in Madurai are on the verge of dying due to lack of encouragement by the government. We cannot afford to buy large tracts of land in Madurai, which is the reason why we are relocating to Virudhunagar,” said Mr. Ritan.
“Our cluster is expected to provide direct employment to at least 2,500 people. In the second phase, more industrial units from Madurai are expected to relocate to the cluster and an additional effluent treatment plant with a capacity to process 35 lakh litres a day will be erected,” Mr. Ritan added.
M. Elango, Director of the cluster, said that there were at least 250 textile units in Madurai, but their number has shrunk to 70 in the past five years, mainly owing to strict implementation of environment norms. By upgrading their technology, the industries can reduce consumption of water to a large extent, he added.
“To manufacture one kilogram of fabric, we use 50 litres of water. With the latest machinery, we can reduce consumption of water to 30 litres. And with effective effluent treatment, 25 litres of water could be recycled,” he said.
Mr. Ritan further said that a textile testing centre and training institute had been planned in the industrial cluster.