Pharma units choke Polepally residents

Pharma units choke Polepally residents

With the people of Polepally village under Jadcherla mandal sufferings from pollution caused by some pharmaceutical companies in the Special Economic...

Mahbubnagar: With the people of Polepally village under Jadcherla mandal sufferings from pollution caused by some pharmaceutical companies in the Special Economic Zone, K Venkataiah, a resident of Mudireddypally village under Rajapur mandal filed a petition in the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in New Delhi last week.

The NGT, basing on the petition, directed the Pollution Control Boards of the Central and State government to file a counter affidavit by July 16.

According to the petitioner, the Pharmaceutical Special Economic Zone at Polepally village under Jadcherla mandal in Mahbubnagar district was established in 2007. It became a cause of great distress for the surrounding villagers and Thandas abutting the SEZ. He submitted to the NGT that the groundwater table had plummeted and thousands of borewells in the areas had gone dry.

Aggrieved over this, the surrounding villagers had held many protests and even represented to the District Collector. But till now there was no response from the government. Fed up with the irresponsible attitude of the district officials and the State Pollution Board, Venkataiah with the support of a non-governmental organisation, Social Development Forum, approached the NGT.

Major issues that were brought to the notice of NGT was that pharmaceutical companies in the SEZ were causing environmental pollution. As a result of which, groundwater was polluted, the petitioner told the NGT.

The petitioner through his counsel submitted detailed reports to prove how the industrial units were causing pollution in and around the area. “Since many years we have been facing the pollution problems and water problems.

During the past 12 years this region surrounding the SEZ has become one of the most hazardous areas as the land, underground water and even the air is stinking with unbearable chemical smells. Because of which many people are falling ill in the surrounding villages and most of them affected are poor and lower income groups like SCs and STs in the area,” said Venkataiah.

Currently the SEZ is having large bases of major pharmaceutical companies like Aurobindo, Hetero, Avertogen life sciences, Amneal Pharmaceuticals and others. All these pharmaceutical industries generate huge quantities of liquid, gaseous and solid pollutants as their byproducts.

As per government rules these pharma companies should send their liquid pollutants to effluent treatment plants in Hyderabad for safer disposal. However, to avoid excess cost, some of the pharma companies are resorting stealthily disposing of the effluents in deep pits, ponds and lakes. This is causing the areas surrounding the SEZ hazardously polluted and impacting on the healthcare conditions of the people.

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