There was a person who used to laugh at me saying How Tirupur managed to take all the Textile Industries from Bombay. Once an export hub, Tirupur is today a ghost town - Rediff.com Business Tirupur was once a powerhouse of exports. A series of events brought South India's largest garment export hub to its knees. The downfall began with the closure of all dyeing units a few years ago, for polluting the Noyal river. Finally, they went to Gujarat to find out how dyeing units were still working there. They bought machinery which assured 'zero discharge' and started again in Tirupur. But only a few have managed this. The recession in the United States and the European Union really hit us hard. Bangladesh gets tax concessions as it's a under developed nation. We have lost our competitive edge. Power is not available at most times. We have to use generators which adds to the cost". Garments are exported to over 100 countries but 65 per cent of the exports are to the Unites States and the European Union. "We have not given up. We are exploring new avenues in Africa and the South American countries. Bangladesh enjoys tax concession as it's an under developed nation. It's our biggest competitor," he explains. China is not a competitor as labour costs have gone up there too. Their hope lies on the free trade agreement India is going to sign with the European Union in January 2013. Then it has to be ratified by the 27 participating countries. Crime rates have gone up. Out of total crimes taking place in Tirupur and nearby Coimbatore, 67 per cent is reported from Tirupur. This is largely due to the floating population from other districts and other states. Crime rates go up when there is lack of work. According to local journalists add, "There are 300 Nigerians here. Twenty years ago, there were just a few. They actually buy garments but what else they do no one knows, many of them have been caught selling drugs ".