HYDERABAD: Industrialisation brings prosperity and creates jobs. But Patancheru, one of the major industrial hubs in Andhra Pradesh has affected lives in the nearby villages such as Sultanpur, Kistareddypet and Kazipally.
There are close to 300 industries in Patancheru area and as many as 10 surrounding villages face the worst ecological threat due to disposal of solid, liquid and gaseous effluents by industries. The threat to environment has been a serious problem for years now. “In 1972, Indira Gandhi who represented Medak, proposed industrialisation in the area. There were no irrigation projects here. Hence, she declared subsidies to industries. But the industries did not follow a proper waste disposal mechanism,” said Dr Kishan Reddy.
As a result, air, water and soil are contaminated by deadly chemicals, and metals like copper, lead and mercury. Most of the inhabitants of Sultanpur are ill due to the prevailing toxicity and exposure to environmentally unfriendly chemicals, he said.
Dr Reddy says the toxicity has now entered even the human system. “We have tested mother’s breast milk and found out some toxic substances in it. This is the outcome of breathing poisonous air and drinking contaminated water,” he says.
Industrial pollution has also affected the economy of the villages. There is no scope for agriculture in the area. “We have around 2 acres here. But it is useless for growing any kind of crop,” says Veeramani, who is currently earning her livelihood by doing odd jobs in the industries at Bollaram.
People who could relocate, have already left the place. And those who could not, are left to suffer. Buyers hesitate to buy any property at Sultanpur because of its reputation for toxicity. “The land used to yield us good crops until two decades ago. Now it doesn’t. We can’t even sell the land as nobody wants to buy it because it is contaminated,” said Sattayya, who works at an industry.