Case Study on Tirupur

Suddenly many international agencies began to take notice of this little town in the state of Tamil Undue in the south of India. We had decided to conduct an Industrial Ecology study in Tripper.

The purpose of the study was to see how to apply the concepts of Industrial Ecology in a developing country, where the pattern of Industrialization was vastly different from that of a developed country. As we first drove Into the town, we wondered what made this place such a success story. The narrow streets were crowded and hardly well laid.

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There were open drains running along the sides of the roads, carrying filthy, colored water. An assortment of icicles, trucks, hand carts and bullock carts with their assorted loads of cargo, clogged the streets.

Smoldering garbage was dumped on both sides of the road and the stench was hardly bearable. Through one such narrow street we approached our first point of call, which was the Tripper Exporters’ Association (TEA). The moment we entered the building of TEA, we started to notice the efficiency which makes Tripper successful. Professional, well-trained staff mans the plush office.

The building itself has all the facilities that an exporter would require, including a well-equipped conference room. 5 Roads in India The roads in India leave much to be desired.

Transport on the roads can be time consuming. All kinds of vehicles, including the ubiquitous bullock-cart, are used as transport vehicles on the roads (including on the highways). When we met the secretary, he told us straight away that dozens of such studies had been conducted by various agencies and he did not see any point in further studies being carried out.

Many national and International agencies had been conducting studies on waste minimization technologies. Other than this, Titular had been the subject of many technical and socio-economic studies In the past.

However, since we were very keen on going ahead with the study, he offered all assistance. Through TEA, we were Introduced to many AT ten leaning Instrumentalists In lurker, won Ana the phenomenal growth of the town. A typical street in Tripper 5. 2 The Study in Tripper Eden wellness to The study was carried out in the year 1996.

All the data and estimates pertain to the year 1995.

Tripper, chosen as a sample town, represented a typical industry pattern in developing countries with many small and micro enterprises involved in an industrial activity. A lot of attention has been given to the industrial symbiosis model n Goldberg (Denmark), where a few disparate large units have worked out an effective system to optimize the use of their material and energy resources (as described in Chapter 1). The industrial pattern in Tripper is very unlike Goldberg.

Tripper has a large number of small and medium units engaged in similar activities, a pattern much more representative of a developing country. Small-scale sector policy The declared policy of the Government was to encourage the small-scale sector as it was expected that the employment generation of the small sector was much greater than that of the large units. The sector has always been exempted from many of the licensing procedures.

The small-scale units also enjoy many tax concessions. 5. 2. 1 Preparing a Framework When Tripper was chosen, no specific format was available for carrying out the study.

The object was to explore how to apply the concepts of Industrial Ecology in a developing country.

Our idea was that we needed to start looking at possibilities for building linkages between different industries as was done in Goldberg or as was being experimented in some parts of North America. When the study began, we realized that this was much more difficult than we had imagined. Unlike the half-a- dozen industries in Goldberg, Tripper had nearly 4000! Even to start looking for partners who would be interested in forming linkages to share their wastes was a major task.

Secondly, the scales of operation of most of the units were extremely small. Hence for any individual unit to make major investments in any recycling systems would not prove economical. Thirdly, the industries tend to be extremely secretive about their operations, as they do not wish that any information about their business should reach enforcement authorities of the Government.

We faced a great ell of difficulty collecting any information other than from published sources. The only details available pertained to value of sales and were available with the Export Promotion Council.

As a next step, we tried to meet the major industrial units and the heads of the different industries’ associations in the town, to understand what they perceived as their problems. The tax system in India I nee taxation system In IANAL Is quite complex. Toner than Income tax, tenure Is a variety of indirect taxation on manufactured goods.

There is the Central Excise (or production tax), the state sales tax and an octopi in many towns (collected by the local municipality). The procedures for paying the taxes and the system of checking compliance are cumbersome. The taxation in India has been marginally lowered over the years.

Till a few years ago, the rates of taxation were extremely high. Coupled with so many restrictions on local and international trade, the parallel economy (the black market) thrived.

Note: In the last few years, the economy in India has been greatly liberalized, with the lowering of certain taxes. Other than listing out hundreds of problems with the bureaucracy and making out a case for greater support from he Government, there did not appear to be any perceived problem. Oh, yes, there is also a lot of harassment from the Pollution 47 Control Board, which is needlessly making us spend millions, was the constant refrain.

In any case this problem also appeared to have been solved, by the industries becoming members of the Common Effluent Treatment Plant Scheme. At the end of the first month of the study, we were still struggling to collect useful data. The figures of water consumption and production, which were collected by us from different sources, also appeared to vary greatly.

We then decided that we should get good idea of the activities of the town and we chose to make a rough assessment of the materials flowing through it, at least to understand what was happening in the area.

As a first step, a fact file on the town was prepared. 5. 3 -nurse Fact File 5. 3.

1 History of Tripper The textile boom in Tripper is recent. Tripper used to be a center for cotton trading a few decades ago. Over the years a few small units were established to manufacture banyans. It was said that the water in Tripper was of such good quality that the banyans made here were the whitest of them all. The fact that the town was located o close to Combaters, which was an established textile manufacturing and trading center, ensured that adequate skills were available. This business grew steadily.

It was only in the early asses that some enterprising businessman got the idea that the same facilities could be used to manufacture colored T-shirts, which had become a rage all over the world. 5. 3. 2 Tripper and its Industry Tripper is a relatively small town in the Combaters district of Tamil Undue. It has a resident population of around 300,000.

An additional 200,000 people come in from nearby towns to work in Tripper’s booming textile industry. The rainfall in the area is low and erratic. The groundwater in most parts of the town is now polluted through years AT moment Lagrange Day ten textile Ministry.