Tamil Nadu: Tannery of popular leather exporter shut down by central pollution control board

The board has also levied a fine of Rs 11.20 lakh on the company for polluting a well near to effluent treatment plant. The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has ordered immediate shutting down of one more tannery of T Abdul Wahid (TAW) Tanneries, which is one of the largest exporters of leather to America and Europe.

The board has also levied a fine of Rs 11.20 lakh on the company for polluting a well near to effluent treatment plant and operating without valid consent under the Water  and Air Act which expired two years ago.

The tannery also located in Solur village in Vellore district has been found to be operating without valid authorization under the Hazardous Waste which expired in June 2016, by a team of scientists from CPCB’s regional directorate in Bengaluru. This is the second tannery of the same company targetted by the central board. Last month, for similar reasons another tannery of TAW was shut down by the board.

An engineer of the company, when contacted by Express, said that they have put in the application before Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board seeking consent under the Air and Water Act.

“Once we get the approval, the authorization under Hazardous waste which had expired in 2016   will automatically be given,” he said. He also said that the tannery will be shut down as per the directive of Central Pollution Control Board.

Central Pollution Control Board said that the tannery is liable to pay an environmental compensation of Rs 11.20 lakh, at Rs 20,000 per day with effect from December 20, 2018 to February 20, 2018. It has also directed the state electricity board to cut down power supply with immediate effect. It has asked the chairman of Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board to ensure compliance.

The action was taken by the board after a team of scientists from CPCB’s regional directorate found that the water of the open well, located close to effluent treatment plant of the tannery, engaged in processing raw hides to finished leather, to be black in colour.

This indicates discharge or mixing of untreated effluents with well water. It also found that the tannery does not maintain data on water consumption, CPCB stated.

The report also stated that the unit has not disposed any solid waste after 2016 and also the effluent is bypassed without any treatment. It has also not provided details on generating and storing of solid waste, CPCB stated.

It has sought remedial action by TAW which include installation of piezo metric wells as per ground water gradient around the area and monitoring of ground water around the plant and nearby school is also needed to know the quality and extent of the damage.

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