The Madras High Court yesterday ordered all dyeing and bleaching units in Tirupur area that had common effluent treatment plants / individual effluent treatment plants (CETPs / IETPs) to be immediately closed down.
A direction to the effect was passed by the First Bench comprising chief justice M Y Eqbal and justice T S Sivagnanam to the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB), while issuing interim orders on two contempt applications from the Noyyal River Ayacut-dars (farmers) Protection Association seeking to punish authorities for failing to comply with the court's earlier orders dated 22December, 2006 and 28April, 2003.
The authorities include IAS officer S Ramasundaram, PWD secretary R Balakrishnan, TNPCB chairman Vishwanath A Shengaonkar, TNPCB member secretary R Ramachandran besides two others. The Electricity Board has also been directed by the bench to disconnect power supply to the units.
"We are fully convinced that unless stringent and deterrent action is taken on CETP / IETP units by ordering their immediate closure, the water of Noyyal river cannot be made free from poisonous substances...and the water shall not be fit for human consumption," the bench observed and gave a set of directions.
In the landmark ruling, the bench has called for criminal prosecution of the polluters. The bench has also called for action against Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) officials who failed to comply with the court directions to prevent the pollution of the river.
According to the bench, no unit should be allowed to reopen and operate unless it achieved zero discharge of untreated effluents.