Tirupur is facing a water crisis. So knitwear units have installed zero liquid discharge facilities. This helps them recover 90 per cent of the water required for the industry. The remaining 10 per cent has to be topped up every day. There is a plan to recycle sewage water also.
The textile industry is heavily water dependent. Water shortage has reduced efficiency by nearly 25 per cent. There is a shortage of drinking water too. The industry has been through booms and lulls and prolonged slackness in export orders, besides troubles closer home with hundreds of dyeing units found to have improper effluent treatment mechanisms forced to shut down.
Knitwear exports from Tirupur grew 12 per cent in 2015-16 compared to the previous year. The share of Tirupur knitwear exports in India’s total garment exports is 20 per cent. Exporters want a one-time long term initiative to be undertaken to uplift the skill proficiency of existing laborers in order to increase productivity at par with competing countries and at the same time reduce waste.
Limping back on a slow-but-promising western order recovery and robust domestic consumption, Tirupur is pursuing another growth cycle. The cluster sees protective wear, sports garments and defense-related businesses as obvious lines, given its huge spinning capacities.