Hyderabad: Going by the developments at a public hearing on Wednesday, the state government is going to have a tough time trying to convince the residents of 12 villagers to allow Pharma City to be set up in their vicinity.
At the meeting, farmers and environmentalists opposed the establishment of Pharma City, while elected representatives of the TRS spoke in favour of it. The meeting quickly turned into a mudslinging match between political parties. Minor skirmishes broke out and political activists began throwing plastic chairs, but they soon calmed down.
The residents of 12 villages from the Kandukur, Kadthal and Yacharam mandals were given an opportunity to speak.
Scientists up in arms against Pharma City
When authorities announced that 32 opinions had been recorded, farmers and the general public complained that they had not been heard.
T. Venkatesh from Medipally said that it was a “hearing without the public”, as several farmers and locals had not been given the chance to speak.
B. Mangamma, a local resident, said that politicians and activists had grabbed the opportunity to be heard while ignoring the locals.
T. Indrasena Reddy, a former scientist, asked if there was any guarantee that pharma companies from the city would relocate to Pharma City. He dismissed the government’s claim that Pharma City would have zero liquid discharge, calling it impractical.
Environmentalist D. Narasimha Reddy asked how environmental pollution could be discussed at the hearing without any concrete information about the number of companies that would set up units at Pharma City and products that would be manufactured there.
K. Saraswathi, an activist-turned-farmer, said that the environmental impact report (EIA) and the statements made by the government were not in agreement with respect to the number of jobs expected to be created. She said that the report mentioned that 15 lakh jobs would be created, while minister K.T. Rama Rao had said that four lakh jobs would be created.
The public hearing was conducted by M. Raghunandan Rao, the Collector of Ranga Reddy district, and officials from the TS Industries and Infrastructure Corporation, the Pollution Control Board (PCB) and the Revenue Department.
Opinions were recorded by the PCB. Officials said that speakers touched upon topics such as pollution and health concerns, effluent treatment, local employment, compensation, skill training, and land acquisition.
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