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Gujarat chemical units shelling out more for effluent water treatment

By Nayan Dave

Already marred by an unprecedented rise in raw-material and logistic costs, thousands of Gujarat-based chemicals, pharmaceutical and textile processing units are carrying the additional burden of augmented charges for the treatment of effluent water.

The cost of operating the Common Effluent Treatment Plants (CETP) has gone up from 25% to a whopping 250% over the past 3 to 4 months. Chemical units are paying effluent treatment charges two and half times higher compared to what they used to pay, says Yogesh Parikh, former president of Gujarat Dyestuff Manufacturers’ Association (GDMA).

“Earlier we had to pay nearly `15,000 plus taxes for the treatment of 25,000 litres of effluent water. Now, the same amount of effluent water is being treated at nearly Rs 45,000 as chemical units are required to adhere to more stringent pollution-related norms,” said Parikh.

Shailesh Patwari, chairman of Naroda Enviro Projects (NEPT) said apart from stringent pollution norms, fuel and input cost for treating effluent water has also increased.

“Dyestuff and chemical sectors are already witnessing a slowdown in business due to low global demand which resulted in a fall in production. As a result, the amount of effluent water coming to CETP has also been reduced. But the fixed costs remain the same. Coal, Urea and other input costs for treatment of effluent water have increased by two to three folds,” says Patwari, who is also a former president of Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI).

NEPT, whose per day capacity is 140 million litres of effluent water, operates the Ahmedabad-based Naroda Industrial Estate’s CETP. According to Patwari, for the past three months, NEPT is running at hardly 6 to 7 million per day due to the recession. Though textile processing units are relatively better off, their costs have also gone up by 25 to 30%.

Jitu Vakharia, president of South Gujarat Textile Processors Association (SGTPA) says treating effluent water released by textile processing units is less complicated in comparison to chemical units. Despite that, textile processors have had to shell out up to 30% to CETP operators in the past 5 to 6 months due to overall inflation that includes increased fuel and coal charges.

Thousands of chemicals, pharma and textile processing units situated in Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Ankleshwar, Surat and Vapi are paying higher prices as CETPs operating in their respective industrial estates have no other option but to increase the charges for treating effluent water.

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