Want to Pollute? Pay for it

I’ve often wondered how things can be produced and sold so cheaply. Stuff that takes centuries to degrade and travels half the world to reach a customer costs so little that I get the sneaking suspicion that someone else is paying the price for it. Indeed someone is.

Tirupur, known as the “Knitwear Capital of India”, produces most of the garments that originate in India and find their way all over the world. The garments are cheap. Overly cheap. In reality, they cost far more. The real cost of the garments is paid by the people and other living creatures of Tirupur who have to live near the Noyyal River that’s contaminated by the textile producing factories. The sludge in the water has been building up over generations.

Image Credit: TamilBuddy

Noyyal River Sludge
Noyyal River Sludge

Finally, someone decided to make the factories pay the full price of the garments they produce. The Noyyal River Ayacutdars Protection Association (whew!) made them pay 55.6 Cr forĀ  the treatment of the river as well as for pollution checks. Well they tried to anyway. Predictably, the factories fought it tooth and nail. But the Supreme Court had the final word. And very sweet words they were too. Here they are:

“Undoubtedly, there has been unabated pollution by the members of the appellant association (factories). They cannot escape the responsibility to meet the expenses of reversing the ecological damage. They are bound to meet the expenses of removing the sludge from the river and also for cleaning the dam. The principles of `polluters pay’ and `precautionary principle’ have to be read with the doctrine of sustainable development.”

Awesome. Like all judicial judgments, this one can be cited in the future for other similar cases – and since it’s pronounced by the Supreme Court of India itself, it can be applied anywhere in the country. You want to pollute? Pay for it. This is one for the history books. Corporations can no longer deny the sole responsibility of cleaning up the muck they produce. Of course, this may lead to higher costs for the final products, but that’s the burden we all have to bear. That’s the real cost you’re paying!

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5 thoughts on “Want to Pollute? Pay for it”

  1. Noyyal River is most important to agriculture and this water is most usefull to humans,and also used for drinking, but textile factories and some villages are Pollute this river…….
    This not good for agriculture and humans……….
    Noyyal River is gift for god


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