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

Arrest of Fr Stan Swamy: UN makes public letter seeking explanation from Govt of India

Counterview Desk In a letter to the Government of India (GoI), three senior United Nations (UN) officials – Elina Steinerte, vice-chair of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention; Mary Lawlor, special rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders; and Fernand de Varennes, special rapporteur on minority issues – have said that the arrest of veteran activist Father Stan Swamy in October 2020 marks “the escalation of harassment the human rights defender has been subjected to since 2018.”

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.

Farm laws 'precursor' to free trade deal envisaged by US corporates to allow GMO

By Rajiv Shah Did the Government of India come up with the three farm laws, first rushed by promulgating ordinances in June 2020, to not just open the country’s agricultural sector to the corporate sector but also as a precursor to comply with the requirements of the United States for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), as envisaged by the outgoing US president Donald Trump?

'These people shouldn't be in jail': UN official seeks release 16 human rights defenders

By Our Representative A United Nations human rights official has called upon the Government of India (GoI) to “immediately release" 16 human rights defenders who have been imprisoned on charges of terrorism in the Bhima-Koregaon Case, insisting, “These people should not be in jail. They are our modern-day heroes and we should all be looking to them and supporting them and demanding their release.”  

Differing from Ambedkar, Kancha Ilaiah holds a 'different' theory of caste system

By Banavath Aravind* I was introduced to Kancha Ilaiah’s work when I was about 20 years old. He was then in the midst of a controversy for a chapter in his book "Post-Hindu India: A Discourse in Dalit-Bahujan, Socio-Spiritual and Scientific Revolution", which termed the Baniya community as social smugglers. During many of his debates, I had come to notice his undeterred fighting spirit in trying to bring up certain fundamental social issues that were hitherto undiscussed. I eventually came across some of his works and started reading them silently. I’m deliberately stressing upon the word ‘silently’ here, as this was the kind of silence particularly associated with sensitive social issues like caste, religion, etc. But, as I write this essay, I feel silences on sensitive issues should be broken. Ilaiah opened up an entirely new debate that had the vigour and strength to counter the systemic Brahmanism. His methods of research were also novel in terms of going back to the roo

Fr Stan's arrest figures in UK Parliament: Govt says, Indian authorities were 'alerted'

London protest for release of Stan Swamy  By Rajiv Shah Will Father Stan Swamy’s arrest, especially the fact that he is a Christian and a priest, turn out to be major international embarrassment for the Government of India? It may well happen, if a recent debate on a resolution titled “India: Persecution of Minority Groups” in the United Kingdom (UK) Parliament is any indication. While Jesuits have protested Fr Stan's arrest in UK and US, the resolution, adopted in the Parliament, said, “This House has considered the matter of persecution of Muslims, Christians and minority groups in India”.

New trend? Riots 'expanded' to new rural areas post-2002 Gujarat carnage: Report

A VHP poster declaring a Gujarat village part of Hindu Rashtra  By Rajiv Shah  Buniyaad, a Gujarat-based civil society organization, engaged in monitoring of communal violence in the state, in a new report, “Peaceful Gujarat: An Illusion or Truth?” has said that a “new trend” has come about in communal violence in the state, where the parts of Gujarat which didn't see communal riots in 2002 are experiencing “regular bouts” of communal violence.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Modi govt 'implementing' IMF-envisaged corporate takeover of Indian agriculture

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak* The surge of wealth of Indian billionaires and the Modi-led BJP government’s onslaught on poor, marginalised and farmers continue to grow simultaneously as masses face annihilating pandemic of coronavirus. There is 90 % rise of Indian billionaire’s wealth over last one decade. It is not accidental.

More than 5,200 Gujarat schools to be closed down, merged, says govt document

RTE Forum, Gujarat, releasing fact-sheet on education By Our Representative A Gujarat government document has revealed that it is planning to close down 5,223 schools in the name of school merger. The document, dated July 20, 201 was released by the Right to Education (RTE) Forum, Gujarat. It shows that the worst-affected districts because of this merger are those which are populated by marginalized communities – especially tribals, Dalits and minorities, said RTE Forum’s Gujarat convener Mujahid Nafees.