New polluting units fail to get government nod

Industrialists planning to start polluting units in four districts of the State are unable to get the Consent to Establish (CTE) from the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) as the government is not willing to relax norms.

According to TNPCB sources, the board has not taken any decision on the demand from industrialists to set up new units, including dyeing and fabric units, in Karur, Tirupur, Erode and Namakkal towns where water pollution has been a problem for a decade and more.

The industrialists have appealed to the government to relax G.O. Nos. 127 and 213 of the Environment Department to enable them establish new units.

The two orders prevent polluting units from being established close to natural water sources. While the 1989 G.O. No. 213 imposes restrictions of certain highly polluting industries within one km from embankments of rivers, streams and dams, the restriction has further made been stringent as five km with respect to the Cauvery and its tributaries, Pennaiyar, Palar, Vaigai and Tamarabarani by the other Government Order dated May 8, 1998, say TNPCB officials.

In Karur, the Cauvery and the Amaravathy flow through the town and the Government Orders make it impossible for any new polluting industry to come up. Similarly, Erode and its suburbs are covered under these two orders as the Cauvery and Bhavani rivers course through the town. The already polluted Kalingarayan canal also makes it difficult for entrepreneurs to get consent for new units here, say TNPCB officials.

Likewise, Namakkal has the Cauvery and its two tributaries rivers meandering around it and Tirupur town already has the highly polluted Noyyal river that has led to closure of several dyeing units for failing to achieve zero discharge.

At a meeting last month, the TNPCB did not take any decision on over half-a-dozen applications seeking approval for CTE dyeing and fabric units in Karur alone.