HC declines to alter order shutting down Tirupur dyeing units

Chennai, Jan 31 (PTI) The Madras High Court todaydeclined to alter its order directing closure of all dyeingand bleaching units in the hosiery town of Tirupur for causingpollution despite its earlier directives.

When Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board and TirupurDyeing Factory Owners Association made oral submissionsseeking alteration of the January 28 order, a bench comprisingChief Justice M Y Eqbal and Justice T S Sivagnanam declined tohear it and directed them to file a review petition.

Taking a serious view of continued discharge of effluentsinto Noyyal River, the bench had on Friday directed TNPCB toimmediately close down over 720 dyeing and bleaching units ona contempt petition.

Besides, it had also directed disconnection ofelectricity supply to the units in Tirupur, a major hosieryhub and export centre near Coimbatore.

When the matter was listed before the bench today forsome corrections, Additional Advocate General P.Wilsonappearing for TNPCB and counsel for Tiupur Dyeing FactoryOwners Association made a submission for a review of theorder.

Justice Eqbal said, "We cannot alter the order, we haveno jurisdiction to change the order on the contempt petition.

Asking review of the contempt order is unknown to law."

V Prakash, senior counsel for association, submitted thatthe Common Effluent Treatment plants, set up with machineriesimported from Europe at huge cost, required electricity tosustain them. Otherwise damage would be caused to CETP system.

The Bench said the matter could not be heard in theabsence of a review petition. "It is our duty to see thewelfare of the people who are living there on the banks of theriver."

As the counsels pressed for hearing the matter todayitself, the Bench directed them to file a petition.

The court had passed the closure order on the contemptpetition by Noyyal River Ayacutdars (farmers) ProtectionAssociation for not following the December 22, 2006 directivesof a Division Bench on effluent treatment.

"We are fully convinced that unless stringent anddeterrent action is taken against the units by immediateclosure, the water of the Noyyal River cannot be made freefrom poisonous substances discharged from these units and thewater shall not be fit for human consumption," the court hadobserved.

After the court order, the Tirupur Exporters Associationhad sought the intervention of the government claiming thatlife of more than 4.5 lakh workers would "literally come to astandstill and all of them will grope about in the dark", ifthe issue was not resolved.

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