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KARUR: The Tamil Nadu Newsprint and Papers Limited (TNPL) has embarked on a pilot effort to reduce the colour pigmentation of the treated water through ozonisation process.
The systems have been established at the TNPL's Kagithapuram paper mill at Pugalur in Karur district at an estimated cost of Rs. 4 crore.
Research and development
The TNPL's research and development efforts to control colour, in the treated effluent being let out as waste water, has culminated in the establishment of the ozonisation plant on the premises.
Under the process, the pigmentation in the waste water which was used by the detractors to exemplify the notorious polluting ability of the paper major, will be greatly reduced sources in the TNPL say.
The TNPL has always laid itself open to criticism from environmentalists for polluting the environment and which has overshadowed all its economic achievements in the past 26 years of its existence.
Farmers and public have been accusing the paper major of having irrevocably polluted the Velayuthampalayam and Pugalur areas once known for their fertility and lush green surrounding seated on the banks of River Cauvery.
Responding to criticisms from all quarters, TNPL started focusing on eco friendly measures.
In 2008 switched over to elemental chlorine-free bleaching system, the most eco friendly bleaching process in the pulp and paper industry the world over.
The move resulted in 50 per cent reduction in water consumption and consequently lesser discharge of treated effluents. The new ozonisation system is being touted as the first of its kind in the Indian pulp and paper industry.
But the cost factor weighs heavy with the process, as apart from the capital expenditure of Rs.Four crore, the company will be spending Rs.20, 000 per day just for reducing the colour of the wastewater.
However, the positives of the process is that having high dissolved oxygen the ozonised wastewater is expected to improve soil fertility by way of mineralisation of organic matter into useful nutrients, thereby promoting healthy root system and increasing productivity.
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