Mettur, 06 May, 2011 Raising questions about Chemplast’s much publicised claims of Zero Discharge, the Gonur West Agriculturists Development Union on 4 May, 2011, discovered and reported what appeared to be illegal discharge of effluents from the company’s PVC plant in Mettur. The discharge, which was detected at around 2 p.m., was attributed to heavy rainfall the previous day. “Whenever it rains, the company’s effluents come out as springs from beneath the factory walls, and enter public drains leading to the River Kaveri,” said G. Madeshwaran of the farmers’ union. A sample of the reddish yellow water was taken by the farmers’ union and handed to representatives of Community Environmental Monitoring for analyses. CEM and the farmers’ union confirmed that the discharge from Chemplast had an intense smell of chemical, and left a reddish stain on the sediment.
The farmers reported the matter to Mr. Mayilsamy, President of PN Patti Panchayat, who called the District Environmental Engineer Mr. Thangapandian. The farmers also reported the matter to Dr. Karthikeyan, zonal officer in-charge of Mettur, who assured them that the Chairman, TNPCB had been intimated and that he had directed immediate action to be taken. On 5 May, 2011, TNPCB Assistant Environmental Engineer Mr. Pandian visited the spot, and took a sample. Upon the insistence of the farmers’ union representatives, Mr. Pandian took another sample from near Greenpark where discharge was observed from an old effluent pipe which had been broken.
The company had only recently received an environmental award for “Zero Discharge” from the Confederation of Indian Industries.