Buoyed by the success of its water-conservation programme for dyeing units in Ludhiana, the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) now plans to extend the programme to units in Amritsar, Jalandhar, Dera Bassi and Phagwara.
Under its Green Governance Programme, PPCB has made dyeing units to use water-saving techniques and successfully saved 50-lakh litres of water a day. The programme was launched in the city on June 27, 2013, after the Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) declared Ludhiana as a critical zone. Groundwater in Ludhiana has been depleting at a rate of 1.08 metre every year and industry is one of the major reasons for this.
So far, of the 280 dyeing units in Ludhiana, PPCB has persuaded 70 to take measures to save water.
PPCB chairman Ravinder Singh said at least 125-lakh litres of water would be saved daily in the next six months in the dyeing industry. "A lot of water is wasted in dyeing and paper industry. By introducing infrastructural changes at units, we have so far been able to help units save 25-30% of water being used by them. The model will be replicated across Punjab, so that we can at least save our state's water table from depleting," he said.
A special cell for educating the industry has also been created in Ludhiana and would be extended to other cities of the state. Rajat Sood, general secretary of Ludhiana Dyeing Association, said industry had benefited from the project. "Unit owners were educated and asked to adopt modern techniques. We are getting positive results," said Sood.
PPCB'S SUCCESS FORMULA
To help dyeing units save water, steam and water used in the dyeing and paper industry are now saved and reused.
RK Ratra, the PPCB executive engineer (XEN) who is overseeing the project, said, "Now, the steam is collected in containers and is converted into hot water, so that it is again used. On the other hand, water that was wasted in other jobs in the dyeing industry is also collected in tanks and used again."
At the 70 units that have availed the programme, special pipes and pumps were installed as part of the first phase of the project and the cost of these was recovered within six months. Under the second phase, which is yet to be launched, machines that use less water would be installed at the units. "The steps also save fuel used in boilers and stop environmental degradation. The process would also lessen sludge that is produced in dyeing industry" said Ratra.