VELLORE:A day after 10 workers were buried alive after the 15 feet tall wall of the second Secured Landfill of the Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) collapsed, the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) ordered the closure of all the 86 factory units affiliated to the CETP.
Following the direction, the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TNGEDCO) disconnected power supply to the units. The move has also put the livelihood of over 15,000 workers in a quandary.
Rejecting the charge that the plant was put up without the mandatory approval, a CETP member said, “We have followed all the rules and regulations laid down by the Pollution Control Board. Without their permission, we cannot move even a single brick inside the CETP.”
Contending that the SLF was constructed after obtaining the necessary clearance from the Chennai Environment Management Company of Tanneries (CEMOT) he said, “Our lips are sealed.”
He added that if he were to prove that the plant was not an illegal construction, that would mean going against the official line. He expressed apprehensions that the bureaucrats wouldn’t allow the company to be run if they believed that “we had taken on them”.
Admitting that things had gone wrong, he said, “We are not here to justify ourselves. We admit that something went wrong.”
The 86 units together generate a revenue of around Rs 500 crore per year.