Power disconnected to 8 errant tanneries after grace period

Tamil Nadu pollution control board (TNPCB), on Saturday disconnected power supply to eight tanneries in Sembattu and Guntur areas after the one-week grace period given to the tanneries to clear their pending stock expired.

After these tanneries failed to ensure zero liquid discharge at the common effluent treatment plant (CETP) located at Tiruvalarchipatti village despite repeated warnings, TANGEDCO disconnected the power supply on December 9 to these tanneries based on the recommendation by TNPCB officials.

Following repeated representation to the TNPCB chairman by tannery owners, power was restored for a week to these tanneries on December 15 but only for a week. They were asked to clear their pending stock in the tanneries that were getting perished in the units after power supply was snapped.

Meanwhile, a section of workers from these factories staged a protest preventing TANGEDCO worker from disconnecting power on Saturday. A team from the airport police station rushed to the spot and carried talks with the tannery workers after which they dispersed from the spot.

Fund crunch was the main reason cited by the owners for failing to install mechanical evaporator at the common effluent treatment plant to ensure zero liquid discharge.

"All our stocks are held up in the units after power supply was stopped by TNPCB which has further worsened our financial condition," says president of Trichy Tanneries Association, Mohamed Adam.
Snapping power supply at this point would result in further delay in installing mechanical evaporator, he added. "Thus, we are planning to meet TNPCB chairman on Wednesday and seek restoration of power at least till March 31," he said.

"Tannery owners are resorting to pressure tactics by instigating workers to stage protest," said a senior TNPCB official while terming the action legitimate.

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