Imapct of textile clusters

Topics: Water, Water pollution, Groundwater Pages: 6 (1678 words) Published: October 16, 2014

Mr. Mervin Rajkumar,
Student, Thiagarajar School of Management
Pamban Swamy Nagar
Madurai - 625 005
Dr. Vidya Rajaram Iyer
Associate Professor, Thiagarajar School of Management
Pamban Swamy Nagar
Madurai - 625 005

Tiruppur, 50kms from Coimbatore district of Tamil Nadu is one of the examples of home grown natural clusters in India. It has emerged as a leading cotton knitwear industrial cluster catering the need for both domestic and international market. The city in recent times has become infamous due to its waste water discharge in the local river. According to a recent study, 2,300-2,500 total dissoluble solids (TDS) still make up the water. If the number crosses 500, the water becomes unfit for drinking and above 1,500 TDS, it can't be used for farming. The farmers on the banks of the river Noyyal are affected by the discharge of dyeing effluents for almost two decades till the Madras High Court ordered closure of all dyeing units in Tirupur. This paper examines the externalities of the industrial activity on environment and public health by taking Tirupur as a case.

Key words: Effluent treatment, Tirupur, Home grown cluster, Textile industry.



Textile industry is one of the main pillars holding the Indian Economy. It contributes around 4% of India’s GDP.Tirupur which is one of the industrial cities in Tamilnadu is famous for its textile clusters. About 10,000 small scale units operate in and around the Tirupur district and it contributes around one-third of the total exports of India. There are around 900 dyeing industries operating in Tirupur.


Noyyal River which is one of the tributary branches of Cauvery River mainly flows through the district of Tirupur, Coimbatore and karur.It is major source of drinking water and it is most intensively used for agriculture by the people of villages on the banks of the river Noyyal.

The river's basin is 180 km long and 25 km wide and covers a total area of 3,500sqkm.Cultivated lands in the basin amounts to 1, while the population density is 120 people per km² in the countryside, and 1000 people per km² in the cities.

Executive Summary:

The key issues discussed in the study are:
 Rapid industrialization and its effects on the environment.  Industrial pollution leading to the contamination of the water which in turn has an effect on agricultural crops and livestock.
 Effect of the chemicals on the rural people in and around Tirupur.

Due to the rapid industrialization of Tirupur city specifically textile bleaching and dyeing industries, the wastage from the industries has led to the degradation of the ecosystem in the city.
According to the Centre for Science and Environment data “Tirupur's textile industry uses bleaching liquids, soda ash, caustic soda, sulphuric acid, hydrochloric acid, sodium peroxide, 2

and various dyes and chemicals for its dyeing and bleaching processes. Most of the chemicals are not retained in the finished hosiery goods, but are discharged as wastewater. The wastewater is acidic, smells terrible and contains dissolved solids, which increase the biological and chemical oxygen demand in water. With no freshwater available for dilution the groundwater from Coimbatore and Tirupur is no longer suited for irrigation.”

There is a scarce rainfall around the banks of the river and the development of the Noyyal River Tanks System to hold water from the scarce rain and also from the rains of the Northeast and Southwest monsoon season was ecologically important.

It is necessary to check the groundwater quality as it is the major source of drinking water. The dominance of sodium and chlorine content water is mainly due to the impact of salts like NaCl, Na2SO4 used in textile processing, which after...
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