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

India's GDP down by 50%, not 23%, job loss 200 million not 122 million: Top economist

By Our Representative One of India’s topmost economists has estimated that India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) decline was around 50%, and not 23%, as claimed by the Government of India’s top data body, National Statistical Organization (NSO). Prof Arun Kumar, who is Malcolm S Adiseshiah chair professor, Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi, said this was delivering a web policy speech, organised by the Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi.

JP advised RSS to give up Hindu Rashtra, disband itself: Ex-IAS officer tells Modi

Counterview Desk
Major MG Devasahayam IAS (Retd), chairman, People-First, in an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion of Jayprakash Narain’s (JP’s) death anniversary (October 11) has wondered whether he remembers “a patriot called Jayaprakash Narayan”. Recalling what JP thought on issues such as communalism, freedom, democracy, Hindutva etc., Devasahayam says, Modi has been been doing “the very opposite of the principles and values for which JP lived and died.”

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

By Our Representative
Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book, "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

UP chief secretary, DGP have 'surrendered' to political diktat: 92 retired IAS, IPS officials

Counterview Desk
In an open letter to Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, 92 retired IAS, IFS and IPS bureaucrats, commenting on “blatant violations of the rule law” following the Hathras incident, have blamed that the Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police for abjectly failing to exercise control over a “highly compromised” administration the state.

Gujarat literati flutter: State Akademi autonomy curb a Sahitya Parishad poll issue?

By Dankesh Oza*
The 115-year-old Gujarati Sahitya Parishad is in election mode. More than 3,000 life members of the Parishad are set to elect its 52nd president and 40 plus central working committee (CWC) members, which in turn will elect its executive and two vice presidents, six secretaries and a treasurer for the coming three years (from 2021 to 2023).

Hathras reflects Manu's mindset dominates: 'Women are false, it's in their nature to seduce'

By Parijat Ghosh, Dibyendu Chaudhuri*
The woman died and then we woke up to protest. She was alive for two weeks after the heinous incident. Many of us even didn’t notice what had happened at Hathras, how she fought during the next 15 days. Those who noticed, many of them were not sure what actually had happened. So much so, we as a nation were more busy in finding out who among the Bollywood actresses were taking drugs, who smoked weed, who had ‘inappropriate’ or more than one relationship, what kind of private conversations they had in their chat boxes and what not!

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur*
Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Delhi riots: Even British didn't accuse Bhagat Singh of reading Lenin, Jack London

By Vikash Narain Rai*
After the #BlackLifeMatters movement seriously tested the credibility of police across America, the Houston police chief Art Acevado talked of ending “lawful but awful” policing. No comparison, but in India, a citizens’ committee comprising former top judges and bureaucrats is now set to inquire into the role of the state machinery and media in handling the February 2020 Delhi violence, which followed protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), “as the investigation by the Delhi Police has evoked extensive critical commentary in recent times.”

Atrocities against Dalits: Why don't MPs, MLAs from the community ever speak up?

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*
In Gujarat, a young Dalit activist lawyer Devji Maheshwari, belonging to the Backward and Minority Communities Employees Federation (BAMSCEF) was killed in Surat, allegedly by a goon who was warning him against his Facebook posts not to speak up against Brahmanism. Facts have come to light suggesting there are other issues also which led to the murder, mostly related to land disputes, many a time ignored by activists.