Proposed effluent norms ‘stringent’: Textiles Ministry

The Textiles Ministry has raised serious concerns over the Environment Ministry’s proposal to mandate textile units to reduce their effluent discharge to zero, and has asked for a review of the proposal as it could lead to closure of many units.

In a letter to the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF), Textiles Secretary SK Pandahas said the proposed standards are “too stringent” and it would make the zero liquid discharge (ZLD) commercially non-viable.

Pandahas also said insisting on zero liquid discharge standards will lead to closure of the industry and due to that people may lose their jobs.

The MOEF notification is being seen as a first serious step towards cleaning the pollutants that has been discharged into the water bodies by the textile units over the years.

The Indian textile industry is a heavy polluter, and many factories in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu were closed down by court orders in 2011 and in Rajasthan in 2015. The proposed standards seek to lay down zero liquid discharge for textile processing units where water discharge is greater than 25 KLD (kilolitres per day).

The Textiles Ministry has argued the domestic processing industry is largely unorganised and consists of small and medium units.

The proposed norms are stringent in terms of capital investment and it would also have high recurring expenditure.

The domestic industry has already raised their concerns on the move. They have requested to review the proposed environmental standards.

The Textiles Ministry has held several meetings with the industry representatives, textile research associations and Indian Institute of Technology on the issue.

A committee has already been formed for studying the existing technologies of effluent treatment, Pandahas told reporters in New Delhi.

He said in the short-term, best available technology can be introduced and for the long-term R&D would be pursued for developing cleaner and more cost effective options. (SH)

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