VELLORE: The management of Ranipet SIDCO Finished Leather Effluent Treatment Company Limited approached Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) officials for revoking the closure order that was issued against it and its member units following the major tannery accident six months ago.
A day after the tannery accident on January 31, which claimed the lives of ten workers who were buried alive under tonnes of toxic slurry after the wall of a Secure Land Fill (SLF) collapsed, the TNPCB issued closure orders to the CETP and its 80 odd member units.
The TNPCB also directed the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) to disconnect power supply to all the units.
After taking a series of measures to correct the flaws and match the guidelines laid down by the government, the management of the CETP have submitted a report to the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board requesting to lift the closure orders.
“We have removed 7,000 tonnes of sludge and slurry accumulated in the SLFs in the CETP. We have spent Rs 2.5 to Rs 3 crore to transport slurry removed from SLF to the Tamil Nadu Waste Management Limited at Gummidipoondi,” Technical Director of company V Jayachandran told Express who is optimistic that the Pollution Control Board will give its nod to reopening the units by the end of this month.
After removing the sludge, management obtained permission from the government authorities to restore power supply to CETP to treat 70 lakh litres of effluent water stored in the CETP.
It took 28 days in the month of June to treat the effluent water received from its member-unit before the accident.
The CETP also engaged a government-approved agency for the safety-audit of the entire CETP unit and also procured safety gear worth Rs 10 lakh for workers.
“Officials from TNPCB have been frequently inspecting and also reviewing the situation in the CETP and its member units. They are happy about the measures taken in the last six months. We have also submitted the audit report to TNPCB,” said Jayachandran.
They were planning to construct another Reverse Osmosis (RO) plant at a cost Rs 8 crore to improve the effectiveness of the CETP in treating the effluents. The new RO plant will be in addition to the existing two ROs, he added.
Authorities in the TNPCB have confirmed that the closure orders against the CETPs and its member units would be soon revoked.
“The management of the CETP submitted a requisition letter seeking permission to reopen the closed units. We received the letter on July 3 and forwarded it the top officials (Chairman) of the board. They will take the final call, but everything looks positive for lifting the closure order,” said a TNPCB official in Vellore.