Hyderabad: The government of Telangana has promised it umpteen times that polluting industries in the Hyderabad city will be shifted beyond the Outer Ring Road (ORR). One cannot help but take these repeated promises by the government because not much has changed over the years. On Thursday midnight fire broke out at a chemical factory in Industrial Development Area of Nacharam for the second time in less than two months. Six workers who were inside the factory escaped while one sustained an injury    

Over the years residents of Nacharam are raising complaints about the polluting industries in the area. A large number of residential colonies and schools likes Delhi Public School, Johnson Public School and Sri Chaitanya reside in the vicinity of the industries. 

“10 years back, we fought day and night, demanding the shift of polluting industries in Nacharam. We even went on hunger strikes to close factories of Liquor India and Lakshmi Torch. Almost 12 chemical industries were closed as a result of our struggle, but again there are a few left, and maybe the fight has to be continued,” says Mekala Muthyam Reddy, who has been living in Nacharam since the last 45 years.  

 

According to study reports, there are over 400-odd chemical, pharmaceutical and drug manufacturing industries which is causing air, soil and water pollution within ORR. Also, as per Telangana State Industrial Infrastructure Corporation Ltd (TSIIC), there are 1,125 polluting industries within ORR.

When asked about the government’s proposed plan to shift the polluting industries in Nacharam, D Geetanjali, Chief General Manager, Telangana State Industrial Corporation said, “No shifting of industries from Nacharam is done so far. It is still under the process. Those industries are running units, hence shifting them will take time. Including land, the government should offer them all the facilities”.  

“We agree that this is an industrial development area and residential colonies came around later. Many small-scale industries also function here. But the problem is that they don’t have their own system of waste disposal. They dispose of the untreated sewage through the resident’s drainage system. This effect the nearby water bodies including the groundwater,” said B T Srinivasan, General Secretary, Nacharam Residential Colonies Welfare Association. 

Meanwhile, responding to the concerns of locals about the incident, Minister for Municipal Administration of Telangana K T Rama Rao tweeted and said the action would be taken. He said, “We are seriously concerned about the polluting (Red/Orange) industries & adjoining residential neighbourhoods. We will make sure to move these industries outside of ORR in a phased manner.

Following the Thursday night fire blast, many residents of Nacharam had taken it to twitter urging the government to remove the polluting factories.

Dheeshma Puzhakkal

Dheeshma Puzhakkal is currently a Reporter with Newsmeter. An alumnus of Hyderabad Central University, she has interned with Greater Kashmir newspaper and NDTV. Dheeshma has also made short films and documentaries. Her documentary ‘Still I Rise’, which is based on sex-trafficking in Hyderabad’s Old City, has earned accolades in several film festivals, such as International Documentary and Short Film Festival, Kerala (IDSFFK). An avid foodie, she loves to travel and listen to stories that others tell. Photography is one of her all-time interests. She has extensively written on satellite-based journalism, health, consumer, and data stories besides covering anti-crime investigative agencies.

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