Illegal units thriving in residential areas
In the absence of effective deterrence in the form of laws and punitive penalisation system as well as a sound mechanism to implement the rules stringently, without succumbing to political pressure, illegal industries, especially plastic units, continue to thrive on the city outskirts.
Katedan: In the absence of effective deterrence in the form of laws and punitive penalisation system as well as a sound mechanism to implement the rules stringently, without succumbing to political pressure, illegal industries, especially plastic units, continue to thrive on the city outskirts.
Plastic units are mainly operating in Tata Nagar, Shastripuram, Katedhan and a few are in Hassannagar on the city outskirts. Surprisingly, the officials are looking other way, despite being fully aware of these units operating in residential areas and some are even close to water bodies.
Lokayukta over a year ago directed the GHMC to remove all the illegal units in and around Shastripuram Colony, which is among the oldest HUDA-approved residential layouts.
However, the order is yet to be implemented for the reasons better known to officials. "Officials continue to look away from the fundamental issue of polluting illegal industrial units amid recognised residential areas, especially Shastripuram and its surrounding habitats," said MAH Asif who spearheaded the movement against illegal industrial units in Shastripuram Colony abutting to Tata Nagar and Katedan.
"We made all efforts and have been relentlessly taking this matter to the notice of officials concerned in GHMC, electricity department and Pollution Control Board, besides reaching out to the police personnel and approaching High Court, Human Rights Commission and Lokayukta in last few years. However, little action has been taken on the ground to alleviate the situation adversely impacting peace, health and life in the said areas," he bemoaned.
GHMC did act against a few units in 2013 and even demolished some of them in Shastripuram Colony. However, since then, no corrective measures have again been initiated despite the illegal units sprouting on the outskirts. "Corrupt GHMC officials are milking these units, while pretending as if they are serious about stopping or shifting these units. These are causing irreparable damage to environment and in turn public health," rued Mohammed Mushtaq, a resident of Mahdi Patnam.
At times, the officials pretend to be tough against the illegal units by issuing notices now and then, but soon they drop the move to take action – presumably under political influence – saying operators have asked for time to shift their units elsewhere, alleged the locals.