Considered as one of the main contributors to industrial pollution in city, the dyeing units are yet to implement a plan to check the pollution.
Two projects to set up Common Effluent Treatment Plants (CETP) for effective treatment of effluent generated by 268 dyeing units in city are yet to be implemented in real sense, even after more than three years of being conceptualised.
Though the industry and Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) claim of going in direction of setting up the CETPs, but looking at the present status of these projects, they are not expected to complete soon, thanks to financial hindrances and some practical problems.
Work on 15 MLD CETP on Bahadurke road commences
The work on 15 million litres per day (MLD) CETP for about 25 dyeing units on Bahadurke road has begun with digging. But the work on setting up a CETP for rest of the industry is yet to start.
Subhash Saini, general secretary, Bahadurke Textile and Knitwear Association, said the project worth Rs 148 crore was delayed only due to financial constraints. The project involves treatment of effluent, and making drinkable water using reverse osmosis instruments. The cost project is also on account of ambitious plan to generate 10 MW of electricity through the project.
Saini said a major part of the project cost had been raised through bank loan, while sanction for rest of the amount was expected soon.
Financial constraints still stalling Tajpur road CETP project
Ashok Makkar, president, Ludhiana Dyeing Association, said the work on 117 MLD CETP over 32 acres on Tajpur road was stalled due to a very high project cost of Rs 437 crore. The industry had urged the central government to allocate some funds on the lines of Tiripur dyeing industry in Tamil Nadu where Rs 200 crore were sanctioned for setting up a CETP, but the demand was not met, he added.
Karunesh Garg, superintending engineer, PPCB, said due to dyeing industry being scattered in different areas of city, executing such a large project on Tajpur road was not viable.
"So we have decided on smaller CETPs to cater to needs of different clusters. Two industrial clusters, one on Tajpur road and another on Rahon road, has been clubbed and a 50 MLD capacity CETP will be set up with an investment of about Rs 55 crore," he said.
As many as 73 and 19 dyeing industries are on Tajpur road and Rahon road respectively, which generate about 55 MLD of effluent collectively.
"Now, as the cost of project for Tajpur and Rahon road industry has come down to Rs 55 crore, we are in the process of tying up with a bank to raise loan. The work for setting up the CETP has already begun with work been allotted to a firm recently. We are hopeful that the CETP on 11 acres will be ready within one year," Makkar said.
Also, a CETP of 25 MLD capacity each are planned in industrial clusters of Phase 8-industrial area with 31 units, and in Phases 1 to 7 with 26 units. However, there are also plans to club these two clusters and set up one CETP for these units.
Makkar said the cost of setting up a CETP had come down considerably with this fragmentation of clusters, as it had reduced the expenses on major component of laying pipeline for carrying the effluent.
Though all dyeing units have set up treatment plants as per the guidelines of PPCB, the effluent treatment is not as per the standards and PPCB has been cracking down on dyeing units to ensure the compliance of environmental norms.
Setting up a CETP is the only option for industry to fulfil the conditions.
Number of dyeing units in city: 268
Number of units served notices in 2011: 105
Number of units served notices in 2012: 80
Number of units served notices till May 2013: 32
Amount of effluent been generated though these units: 150 million litres daily
Work on 15 MLD CETP for Bahadurke road industry starts in form of digging, but work is proceeding at snail's pace
Work on 50 MLD CETP for Tajpur road and Rahon road industry worth Rs 55 crore allotted to a firm recently, but funds yet to be raised
Plan to set up 25 MLD CETPs each for industrial units in Phase 8 and Phase 1 to 7.