|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
• 238 m (781 ft)
However in recent years it has been associated with rampant industrial polluting, with the Chennai-based Community Environmental Monitoring (CEM) arguing in their report of November 2007 for its designation as a "Critically Polluted Area". This argument centred around an air sample which found levels of 1,2-Dicholoroethane, a known carcinogen, at 32,432 times the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Screening Levels. Although the Central Pollution Board is yet to respond to this argument, the findings of The Indian People's Tribunal(IPT) in 2005 and the chemical tests performed by a USEPA-approved laboratory in Oregon, USA make this one of the most pressing environmental issues in South India.
Mettur, meaning 'town with crests and troughs', obtained its name owing to the undulating rocky nature of the land that makes the town an ideal place for the DAM on Cauvery river the life line of north and central Tamil Nadu. Stanley Reservoir.
Mettur has a number of industries; an important one is Mettur Chemicals (now known as Chemplast) which has four large plants manufacturing chemicals, soaps and industrial gases, and one of the worst polluters of the neighbourhood, MALCO (Madras Aluminium Company). MALCO runs a matriculation and higher secondary school. SISCOL (Southern Iron and Steel Company Limited, now a part of Jindal groups) is a new addition to the region though it is located a little off Mettur. SISCOL is located at Pottaneri, 15 km from Mettur and 32 km from Salem the district headquarters. SAIL's Salem Steel plant is nearby.
High grade granite is quarried in the Eli Karadu Hills.
The town has a thermal power station (840 MW) .
Mettur's industrial development has taken a heavy toll on many parts of its farming and fishing communities. However despite protest from both international groups such as Greenpeace and locals such as West Gonur Farmers' Association or SpeakOut Salem! the local authorities have failed to bring the problems under control.
Recent tests undertaken by Dr Ruth Stringer and Dr Mark Chernaik of ELAW-US (an Oregon-based environmental laboratory) revealed high levels of contamination. From nine samples taken from aroung the plants run by Chemplast and MALCO, the following 17 chemicals were found to be at levels significantly above USEPA 'safe' levels:
|Name||Sample Site||Value||No of times above standard||Carcinogen?|
|Vinyl Chloride ug/L||7||164||546||YES|
|Bis(2-chloroethyl) ether ug/L||7||136||257||YES|
|Methylene Chloride ug/L||9||1,140||248||YES|
These high levels are made even more worrying in the case of sample sites 8 and 9, which are taken from 350 and 500ft borewells respective.
Mettur is located at  It has an average elevation of 153 metres (501 feet)..
Mettur can be divided into upper and lower Mettur based on whether the part of the town lies upstream or downstream of the river.
The town houses the Stanley reservoir, which is a standing example of British stone masonry and the dam 1700 metres in length. The reservoir capacity touches 120 feet, when full and could go few feet beyond its full capacity during surplus seasons.
The town is hemmed to a narrow strip of less than a kilometre (the dam's length) in width by the cauvery let out by the Dam on the east and Eli karadu (Mouse hill) on the west which forms an interesting pattern of three similar peaks with identical longer shoulders to their left increasing in height from the Dam's crest level about a 1000 ft from sea level in the north to about 4000 ft peak in the Pallamalai.
Neringipettai is about 4 km from the heart of Mettur at the foot of palamalai, the hills almost reachout to the river with just the State Highway from Mettur to Erode between the river and the hills.
Pannavadi parisal thurai near Kolathur is located 12 km far from Mettur. There is a boat transportation in between the Kolathur and Nerupur of dharmapuri district. The boat transportation also available from koattaiyur it is 20 km far from mettur. When the water level decreases in Mettur dam, we can see an Old Nandhi statue, an old church, a palace (Koattai) of Tippu Sultan which was sunk inside the water. It is nearer to Koattaiyur and Pannavadi. It is possible to travel by fisherman's boat from any of the place mentioned.
This was the place where Virappan, notorious for his exploits for the extinction of Sandalwood and Tuskers in the whole forest regions straddling about 2000 km² raging from Anaimalai to Hogenakkal spread across the three states Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka once gave a slip to the law enforcers while they were chasing him from Salem Government Hospital where he had ended a Deputy superintendent of police's life after the latter was admitted with serous injuries from a land mine planted by Veerapan.
Thanga Malai Murugan temple within the town is a local attraction during festivals.
Villagers in Mettur celebrate the Mariamman festival during the summer vacation time (Month of may) and lasts for one whole week.
As of 2001 India census, Mettur had a population of 53,790. Males constitute 51% of the population and females 49%. Mettur has an average literacy rate of 73%, higher than the national average of 64.5%: male literacy is 80%, and female literacy is 66%. In Mettur, 10% of the population is under 6 years of age.
Mettur has several good schools and institutes offering good quality education:- SCHOOLS: Govt. HSS, Mettur,St. Mary's for girls, Malco Vidyalaya, MAM, Valluvar Vasuki, GV, Ramesh Vidhyashram, Vaidheeswara, JEMS etc TECHNICAL INSTITUTES: MIT Polytechnic College, Kaveri Polytechnic, Kaveri Engineering College,Govt. Arts and Science College and ITI Mettur.
Engineering students would find that Mettur has a lot to offer in providing them an insight in Manufacturing through industrial tour's of the many industries and Power plants and Barrages to look up to.
Road ' Mettur being close to the transportation hubs of Erode and Salem is well connected to both these cities as well as to Dharmapuri. Bus services operate from Erode & Salem at the most frequency, with bus services once in every 5 minutes. The METTUR SUPER SERVICES Omni Buses are operated from Mettur Dam to Chennai daily.All new semi sleepers, A/C semi sleeper air buses are operated daily.MSS-METTUR TRAVELS,29,SQUARE MARKET,METTUR DAM-1.04298-244371,244677.
Rail ' It has got a railway station from where it is connected to salem .There is a daily express train to chennai from Mettur Dam and in the return direction too.
Air Nearest airport is Salem Airport which has daily flights to Chennai.
1. Pollution - where the concentration of SPM is higher than what is warranted for a healthy living. 2. Good Quality Eateries. 3. Places for recreation.