KOCHI: Kitex group of companies, which runs the organisation Twenty 20 that rules Kizhakkambalam panchayat, on Tuesday served a Rs 100 crore defamation notice on Thrikkakara MLA P T Thomas for raising baseless allegations against the company.
At a press meet here, Kitex managing director Sabu M Jacob said the notice has been served by Advocate Blaze Jose as the allegations raised by P T Thomas have caused irreparable damage to the reputation of Anna - Kitex group which has been built over 52 years. The allegations have cast a shadow of suspicion on the lakhs of customers in India and abroad. The shareholders of the company are also concerned about the allegations. “I had asked Thomas to provide proof to substantiate the five allegations he raised and he has failed to do this. So, we are demanding a compensation of Rs 100 crore for defaming the company,” he said.
Thomas had alleged that Kitex was running bleaching and dyeing units at Tiruppur in Tamil Nadu. Of the 150 bleaching and dyeing units in Tiruppur which were closed following the intervention of Supreme Court, four were owned by Kitex. He alleged these units were shifted to Kizhakkambalam following the SC order and that the units are releasing effluents polluting the Kadambrayar river.
Sabu said Kitex was following the pollution norms of the West, which are more stringent than those in India. He said 10 teams from the state government conducted search at the unit over the past month and found no violation. He said P T Thomas should apologise to the people, tonsure his head and resign from the MLA post if he cannot prove the allegations.
Kitex has not installed zero liquid discharge system: MLA
Thomas asserted that Kitex has not installed zero liquid discharge system as instructed by the SC as per a report given by the state pollution control board on December 7, 2020.He said he was not raising allegations because Twenty20 fielded a candidate against him in the assembly polls. “Around 10 lakh people are dependent on the drinking water projects in Kadambrayar basin. I raised the allegation as it was posing a health hazard,” he said.
“An RTI reply from the pollution control board in 2017 says effluents released by Kitex have 0.1mg of chromium per litre which is three times the permissible limit. Though Kizhakkambalam panchayat had given permission to install a bleaching and dyeing unit in 2008, Kitex has not followed the SC direction setting the standard for treatment plants,” he said. He also quoted a report published by TNIE on June 30, 2014, titled ‘Pollution kills Kizhakkambalam’ to substantiate his allegation.