Textile units in the south Indian garment export hub of Tirupur have become the first in the country to use new technology that prevents water pollution during dyeing and processing.

As well as using zero discharge technology, the dyeing and processing units are also using wind turbines to generate electricity.   

The move comes nearly two years after a court ordered the closure of all 729 dyeing and bleaching units in Tirupur for polluting local waterways. The city accounts for 20% of India's garment exports - and the facilities were only allowed to reopen if they achieved zero liquid discharge.

Dr A Sakthivel, chairman of the Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC), on Thursday (6 December) said: "All processing is carried out now with 100% zero discharge technology."

He added that more than half of the shuttered units are now running again, along with 16 effluent treatment plants. Up to 90% of processing water is being re-used.