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Dyeing units pollute Ludhiana, affect business

Puneet Pal Singh Gill  |  New Delhi/ Ludhiana 

The dyeing in Ludhiana is proving destructive. From polluting the Budda Nullah by discharging toxic chemical residues to dumping fly ash in Focal Point, the dyeing units are under fire from not only the environmentalists and the general public but from the fellow industrialists too.
Having trained their guns at the dyeing industry, the Indian Bicycle Manufacturers Association and United Cycle Parts and Manufacturers Association have been trying to improve the situation, but their efforts have been unavailing.
The authorities of the Punjab Pollution Control Board and Municipal Corporation have not done much to better things, either.
Roadsides, plots and municipal parks in Focal Point have been converted into mounds of fly ash. The industrialists say the fly ash was not just causing health hazards but also businesses of all other units were getting affected.
The paints manufacturers are the worst-hit because the fine ash gets mixed with paints, affecting quality. Other industrialists are unhappy because their machines worth crores are getting non-functional because the ash settles inside the sophisticated parts.
Speaking to Business Standard, R D Sharma of the Indian Bicycle Manufacturers Association said units were saving money by dumping fly ash on roads and in green parks and green belts.
"But we are suffering. Once fly ash gets into a sophisticated machine, the machine stops working. We import costly machines, but nobody seems bothered," he said.
The water is overflowing and the bitumen is giving away, resulting in potholes. "Roads are being laid again and again. But they give away due to water logging," said Varinder Kapoor, general secretary, United Cycle Parts and Manufacturers Association.
Narrating a similar tale, paint manufacturers say whenever they prepare an emulsion, fine particles of ash spoil everything.
According to sources, dyeing units had made a tie-up with contractors to dispose of the fly ash. But the arrangement is not working because of the undisciplined manner of working on the part of contractors.

First Published: Thu, December 14 2006. 00:00 IST