Skip to main content

Green signal to Hyderabad pharma city or to ash, muck, pollution and misery?

By Dr Narasimha Reddy Donthi, Dr K Babu Rao, Dr Lubna Sarwath*
Hyderabad Pharma city being established by the Telangana government is a move towards establishing a toxic city. By going ahead with it Telangana industries minister KT Rama Rao is neglecting the travails of pharma pollution victims. Pharma exports will earn mountains of profits for a few, while Telangana residents would end up with ash, muck, pollution and misery. 
Unfortunately, this kind of development has not been questioned by political parties. Before projecting the Hyderabad Pharma City as an answer to Covid-19 pandemic, the minister needs to prove that the existing pharma industry has indeed improved the health of Hyderabad and Telangana residents. The present pathetic state of alarming spread and governance chaos confirms contrary to the projected claim of the minister.
It is quite unfortunate that during a review on Hyderabad Pharma city, the minister has projected this project as an answer to Covid-19 pandemic. It suggests lack of awareness on corona virus. It would have been better, if they had done a critical review of conditions that led to corona pandemic and listened to the science.
A false promise of putting Hyderabad on the international map through setting up Hyderabad Pharma city ignores the fact that this city is already up there on the international map for several reasons, including severe pharma pollution and existence of anti-microbial resistant bacteria in its water bodies.
Telangana was and is suffering immensely from industrial pollution, particularly by pharmaceutical companies. Our rivers, lakes and ground water are getting polluted severely. Several studies by national and international institutions have shown that hazardous chemicals have completely contaminated our ground water reserves. Several villages, in Medak, Nalgonda, Rangareddy and Mahbubnagar districts, are facing this problem.
The health of villagers is seriously and severely affected. Their livelihoods are vanishing, and in general, poverty is on the rise. At this stage, it would be foolish to invite and establish more pharmaceutical units. Expansion of existing companies is also not recommended.
The Hyderabad Pharma City project at Medipally is a disaster in making. Local people have been opposing this pharma city project. This project has the potential to destroy local natural resources, including agricultural lands, ground water reserves, vegetation, tanks, lakes and other water resources. Pharma city can never be a harbinger of hopes and dreams of local people.
Pharmaceutical companies across the state of Telangana, as experience shows, have negative impact on local economy, eroding resources and destroying livelihoods. Instead of providing and enhancing local employment, they have destroyed local professions and have always been averse to provide employment to local people. Local environment is severely and irreversibly degraded due to effluents and emissions from the pharma industry.
Pharma pollution victims are sadly ignored by the Telangana government, Congress, BJP, Communists, Telangana Jana Samithi and other political parties. Political parties need to question the Telangana government's definition of development which means polluting Telangana's natural resources, pushing rural people into poverty and enabling profits for a few through pharma exports with horribly polluting technologies.
US and European pharma industry has stopped producing many drugs due to severe restrictions on pollution. Pharma industry here is making profits at the cost of nature and people. Who has been better off by pharma exports? What are the pharma products which have been useful, for the ill in Telangana villages? Is the cost of medicine low in Telangana? Is it less than other places?
History suggests that there is no use for the people here with concentration of pharma industry in Telangana. Pharma pollution and unbridled profits was mentioned as one of the factors during Telangana movement.
Pharma pollution victims are sadly ignored by Telangana government, Congress, BJP, Communists, TJS, other political parties
In fact, while inviting new pharma industries, the Telangana industries minister seems to lack understanding and knowledge of a scenario, wherein pharma industries are exploiting local resources, causing injustice to the people of Telangana, with no punishment for pollution and near absence of regulation on their activities.
The industries minister and officials who lack commitment towards democratic governance are also misusing precious public funds by setting up Hyderabad Pharma city facilitating pollution of pristine and virgin areas. There is no improvement in the health index of Hyderbadis and Telangana due to local pharma industry. Damages to the environment, natural resources and people due to existing pharma industries is huge, which would doubled tripled by establishing Hyderabad Pharma City.
It should be noted that the Jawahar Pharma City was established at Parawada near Visakhapatnam with the same objectives as high powered committee (HPC) claiming latest technologies for treating pollution and centralized facilities. Since 2013, there have been 25 major accidents with 23 deaths and 73 severely injured. Polepally chemical SEZ also had several explosions and fires killing workers and damaged local ecology.
The state government should scrap Hyderabad Pharma City project, as per environmental norms, current scenario and people’s aspirations. Telangana people will intensify their agitation against this project. The government should assess the irreversible loss done to the natural resources and to the people of the pharma industry belt.
All political parties should assess the current Telangana growth model. Each of them should make a clear, unambiguous statement on Hyderabad Pharma growth. A fund, starting with Rs 1,500 crore, could be established to compensate pharma industry victims in Telangana, protect public health, livelihoods and local natural resources. In fact, the Telangana industrial policy itself should be reviewed.
---
*Dr Narasimha Reddy Donthi is with the Citizens Against Pollution, Hyderabad; Dr K Babu Rao is former chief scientist, Hyderabad; Dr Lubna Sarwath is state general secretary, Socialist Party (India), Hyderabad

Comments

Sandhya Naidu said…
I agree 100% with Dr Narasimha Reddy Donthi. Yes, the Pharma City may look something huge to urban people, but the damage it is causing to mother earth is very annoying.

Though Dr Narasimha Reddy Donthi has told what he feels, will the government really listen? It will never, all people now are into is business and make money schemes. They want people to think that some thing great is happening.

What are the doing for the farmers? Shame on the government, its not about Telangana, its every state. We Indians have been an example to the world and now with the word TECH every thing has changed.

This is the only reason i have purchased Best Farm Lands below 10 Lakhs Around Hyderabad . I have invested in farm lands that are located in a beautiful village ..panthangi.

I hope people do understand the destruction., Thanks for the article.

TRENDING

'Flawed' argument: Gandhi had minimal role, naval mutinies alone led to Independence

Counterview Desk Reacting to a Counterview  story , "Rewiring history? Bose, not Gandhi, was real Father of Nation: British PM Attlee 'cited'" (January 26, 2016), an avid reader has forwarded  reaction  in the form of a  link , which carries the article "Did Atlee say Gandhi had minimal role in Independence? #FactCheck", published in the site satyagrahis.in. The satyagraha.in article seeks to debunk the view, reported in the Counterview story, taken by retired army officer GD Bakshi in his book, “Bose: An Indian Samurai”, which claims that Gandhiji had a minimal role to play in India's freedom struggle, and that it was Netaji who played the crucial role. We reproduce the satyagraha.in article here. Text: Nowadays it is said by many MK Gandhi critics that Clement Atlee made a statement in which he said Gandhi has ‘minimal’ role in India's independence and gave credit to naval mutinies and with this statement, they concluded the whole freedom struggle.

BSF should take full responsibility for death of 4 kids in West Bengal: Rights defender

By Kirity Roy*  One is deeply disturbed and appalled by the callous trench-digging by BSF in Chetnagachh village under Daspara Gram Panchayat, Chopra, North Dinajpur District, West Bengal that has claimed the lives of four children. Along the entire stretch of Indo-Bangladesh border of West Bengal instead of guarding the actual border delineated by the international border pillars, BSF builds fences and digs trenches well inside the Indian territory, passing through villages and encroaching on private lands, often without due clearance or consent. 

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

How GMOs would destroy non-GMO crops: Aruna Rodrigues' key submissions in SC

Counterview Desk The introduction of Bt and HT crops will harm the health of 1 billion Indians and their animals, believes Aruna Rodrigues, who has made some 60 submissions to the Supreme Court (SC) during the last 20 years. As lead petitioner who filed Public Interest Litigation in 2005, during a spate of intense hearings, which ended on 18 January 2024, she fought in the Apex Court to prevent the commercialization of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in Indian agriculture. 

Social justice day amidst 'official neglect' of salt pan workers in Little Rann of Kutch

By Prerana Pamkar*  In India’s struggle for Independence, the Salt Satyagraha stands as a landmark movement and a powerful symbol of nonviolent resistance. Led by Mahatma Gandhi, countless determined citizens walked from Sabarmati Ashram to Dandi in Gujarat. However, the Gujarat which witnessed the power of the common Indian during the freedom struggle is now in the throes of another significant movement: this time it is seeking to free salt pan workers from untenable working conditions in the Little Rann of Kutch (LRK).

Corporatizing Indian agriculture 'to enhance' farmer efficiency, market competitiveness

By Shashank Shukla*  Today, amidst the ongoing farmers' protest, one of the key demands raised is for India to withdraw from the World Trade Organization (WTO). Let us delve into the feasibility of such a move and explore its historical context within India's globalization trajectory.

Jallianwala massacre: Why Indian govt hasn't ever officially sought apology from UK

By Manjari Chatterjee Miller*  The king of the Netherlands, Willem-Alexander, apologized in July 2023 for his ancestors’ role in the colonial slave trade. He is not alone in expressing remorse for past wrongs. In 2021, France returned 26 works of art seized by French colonial soldiers in Africa – the largest restitution France has ever made to a former colony. In the same year, Germany officially apologized for its 1904-08 genocide of the Herero and Nama people of Namibia and agreed to fund reconstruction and development projects in Namibia. .

Livelihood issues return to national agenda ahead of LS polls: SKM on Bharat Bandh

Counterview Desk  Top farmers' network, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) has claimed big success of Grameen Bharat Bandh and industrial /sectoral strikes, stating, the “struggle reflected anger of farmers, workers and rural people across India”, adding, the move on February 16 succeeded in bringing back peoples’ livelihood issues in the national agenda just ahead of the general election to the Lok Sabha.

A 'distorted narrative' of Indian politics: Congress failing to look beyond LS polls

By Prem Singh*  About 15 days ago, I told a senior journalist friend that there are not even two   months left for the Lok Sabha elections, Rahul Gandhi is roaming around on a delectation (tafreeh). The friend probably found my comment exasperating and replied that he is not on a delectation trip. The conversation between us on this topic ended there. 

How retraints were imposed on academic freedom on the IIM-Ahmedabad campus

By Sandeep Pandey*  This is the seventh consecutive academic year when I would have gone as a visiting faculty member to the Indian Institute of Management at Ahmedabad to teach an Elective course on Transformational Social Movements to the second year of Post Graduate Programme students. But the invitation has not come so far and it looks like it is the end of my teaching stint at IIM, at least, so long as the Bhartiya Janata Party remains in power at the centre.