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India Orders Closure of 893 Textile Units

Nearly 900 textile units in Sanganer near Jaipur in India have been ordered by the high court to cease operations.

According to local media reports, the Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board (RSPCB) issued closure notices to 893 facilities for failing to install common effluent treatment plants (CETPs), resulting in up to 18 million liters of untreated chemical water being discharged into the Drayvawati river every day. These emissions have the potential to adversely affect the quality of both surface water and groundwater resources and could contribute to water-borne diseases like cholera and dysentery.

The power department and the Public Health Engineering Department (PHED) were also instructed to cut all electricity and water to the units. The high court has ordered 213 units to shutter by May 31 and the remainder by June 30. Local police have been asked to help and the RSPCB will submit an action-taken report on May 18.

The Times of India said that tests conducted in 2012 in Sanganer, known for its hand-block dyeing and printing work, found that 650 textile units were discharging 12.3 million liters of untreated wastewater on a daily basis, but RSPCB officials have maintained that more than 17 million liters are being dumped.

This isn’t the first time the board has butted heads with the textile industry. Back in 2003 the high court told the Textile Unit Owners’ Association to set up a wastewater-treatment plant and when the association claimed it couldn’t afford to cover the estimated cost of up to Rs. 120 crore (nearly $19 million), the court then asked the state and central government to split the expense with the association.