Tirupur garment manufacturers to cut fabric processing cost are now increasingly shifting to Mysuru, neighbouring State preferring unauthorised fabric dyeing units, which have not adopted ‘Zero Liquid Discharg’e (ZLD) in villages near Mysuru in Karnataka and other districts of the State, industry sources said.

As processing fabric in and around Mysuru is about 20 per cent cheaper compared to Tirupur, sources said. Around 18 lakh kgs fabric is processed per day in Tirupur. The dyeing units that operate in Tirupur are following ZLD norms and have to spend 20-25 paise per liter of water for the purpose. According to S Nagarajan, President, Dyers Association of Tirupur (DAT), the unauthorised units in Karnataka need to bother about the ZLD cost and their overheads cost would also be comparatively low. So, garment manufacturers have started preferring these units over the local ones.

They are getting reports that a section of garment manufacturers, both engaged in export and domestic trade, are processing fabric with textile dyeing units in villages near Mysuru and also in few other districts in Tamil Nadu including Madurai and Virudhunagar. Most of these units are neither authorised nor follow ZLD norms.

Since processing units near Mysuru do not have drying facility, garment manufacturers have to take the dyed fabric and dry them in sheds available in Tirupur. They provide processing service at low cost, which has become advantageous to garment manufacturers despite the extra transportation cost. Garment makers are trying to reduce manufacturing costs to stay in the business as the industry is already facing a crunch due to implementation of demonetisation and GST apart from competition from countries like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Vietnam, according to the Managing Director of a leading knitwear manufacturing company in Tirupur.

As a result, some manufacturers are opting for dyeing units in Karnataka. It is unfair to compel manufacturers not to use dyeing units that provide service at lower cost. BDAT has made a representation to TNPCB’s (Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board) Principal Secretary and Chairman Md Nasimuddin seeking a direction to control unauthorised dyeing units. TR Vijayakumar, General Secretary, Tirupur Exporters’ Association (TEA) said that the DAT should approach the State and Central Governments to ensure that all the dyeing units across the country follow ZLD norm, so that the competition will be healthy.

Around 400 dyeing units are functioning in Tirupur city and surrounding areas. There are 18 common effluent treatment plants (CETPs) and about 100 individual effluent treatment plants (IETPs) catering to the need of the dyeing units to comply with ZLD norms as directed by the Madras High Court. Based on the instructions from TNPCB, Tirupur District administration warned garment manufacturers not to dye the fabric in the units near Mysuru and dry them in sheds in Tirupur. Otherwise, action will be taken under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, a revenue official said. The Madras High Court’s direction applies to the entire textile and tannery dyeing units as far as the ZLD norms are concerned across the State.