Dyeing industry in Ludhiana has finally woken up to the benefits of biotechnology being used for the treatment of effluents released from the units that have devastating effect on the environment.
There are at least 280 dyeing units in Ludhiana which release effluents that are otherwise required to be treated before being released into the environment. The industry was using effluent treatment plants to remove the harmful effects of the effluents, but now, various types of bacteria are being used to de-pollute the effluents.
The technique, though not very popular, is being used by the big units that release large quantity of effluents. Bacteria are used to end the organic matter present in the effluents generated in the dyeing industry. Some units are also in process to treat effluents through bio techniques as they are more effective.
Rajat Sood, general secretary of Ludhiana Dyeing Association, said, "Bacteria have become a part of the treatment process in dyeing units. Different types of bacteria are being used in the dyeing industry - there are some which are used to clean clothes, while others are used to treat effluents."
There are at least 60 dyeing units that are using bio-techniques to treat effluents.
"Bacteria are a basic element of a food chain that is created by nature. Its role in dyeing industry is to treat organic matter in the effluents released by the industrial units, especially dyeing industry," said assistant scientific officer, Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB), Surinder Singh.
Singh added that bacteria was grown at the dyeing plants and fed upon effluents. "These bacteria are first fed on cow dung and are slowly provided doses of effluents. They become accustomed to the effluents and start taking it as their diet. Then, they are put in the effluents which is treated easily," Singh further said.
However, the technique has not become very popular among the dyeing industry. Most of the small units still rely on effluent treatment plants and do not use bacteria. One of the reasons for not using bacteria is its sensitive nature and the care that they require.
SP Verma, scientific officer at PPCB, said every dyeing unit was not accustomed to this technique and therefore, didn't use bacteria to treat effluents.
"The process also requires qualified persons. As a result, only a few units use it," added Verma.
Flora Dyeing owner Lokesh Sood said he would start treating the effluents in his unit using the bio-technique method from next month. "The technique would help the effluents get purified in a natural way," said Sood.