Residents run afoul of industries

City Health

Industrialists claim that the land allotted to them is occupied by residents who are now complaining of pollution.

Hyderabad: Residents of Gandhinagar have been complaining of pollution from nearby industries, but industry owners have a counter-argument. “Industrialists developed the area but now the surrounding residents are demanding for the removal of these industries,” says PV Rajam, President of Gandhi Nagar Industries Association.   

“People complain about sound pollution from industries but they were the ones to build their houses near industries. This industrial estate was far from the city when it was established but now because the city has expanded, this estate is considered inside Hyderabad,” Rajam said.  “The government is asking industrialists to shift their factories outside the ring road which is unfair,” he added. The Industrial Estate in Gandhi Nagar was established in 1964. The area was a barren path of land then. 

PV Rajam says that the government is not helping Micro Small Medium Enterprises (MSME) in any way.

A lack of clarity between the government and enterprises about shifting the industries led to questions like where they should go and who will bear the cost of purchasing land, transporting materials and establishing industry. So, the government decided that the existing industries will remain where they are, be as it is but new ones under red category will not be permitted. “The government is not asking everyone to relocate their industries but just the polluting industries which are in the red zone,” says Ranjit, General Secretary of Patancheru Notified Municipal Area Industrial Service Society. 

  “In 1980 permissions were given to pharma industries, now colonies have come up around these industries. The pharma industries cannot afford to shift their premises,” he added.

Purchasing land, establishing a company and hiring workers is not easy say industrialists. “Government is creating a problem by increasing property taxes,” says Rajam. “This estate is now also becoming a commercial area with the construction of malls, bars and wine shops. Even these people are demanding that we leave this area. It is they who disturb people. The Industrial Estate is occupied and unauthorized houses are being constructed in Gandhi Nagar,” he added. 

Industrial estates are allotted only when the land is unfit for agriculture, says Nasser, M (AM) & Commissioner of TSIIC (Medchal and Siddipet). Telangana State Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (TSIIC) acquires lands which are useful for industries through the revenue department. TSIIC develops the land and allots it to industries. TS-I-Pass is a process where all the permissions for new industries are given in one go. Industries are categorized in different zones like red, orange and green. Red zoned industries as basically industries which cause a lot of pollution. “At present there are no red zoned industries in surrounding areas like Shapur Nagar, Jeedimetla and Gandhi Nagar,” he added.

“A master plan for the next thirty years for development of the city is in place. The Planning Department will try to come up with different zones in the master plan like residential zones, commercial zones, multi-purpose zones, public and semi-public zones. Town planning department of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) will take care of land use in the city,” says Prasad Rao, Deputy City Planner Secunderabad zone. “The large industries are planned outside the city by TSIIC,” he added. 

“At night, the pollution is higher. One can smell chemicals while travelling by the industrial roads,” says Mahesh, Section In-charge at Jeedimetla Police Station. “My house is approximately two kilometers away from the industrial area but still in the mornings the air smells like chemicals,” says Adharsh, local resident. The drainage flow is full of chemicals released by the industries, he added.

“Heat generated from the steel industry near my house causes skin problems and other health issues,” says Sunil Kumar, resident at Jeedimetla.