The Telangana State Pollution Control Board (TSPCB) is holding a public hearing next month on the environmental impact of the Hyderabad Pharma City
project, which is proposed to be established on 20,000 acres of land, across a 70 square-km area, in stages.
The move comes as the latest indication of the state government's intent to go ahead with the project after the proposal faced initial hiccups on the land acquisition front.
Once touted as the bulk drug capital of India, Hyderabad is expected to attract massive investments from Indian and foreign pharma companies facing capacity constraints if the state government successfully delivers what it has promised.
This integrated pharma manufacturing park will have a common infrastructure, such as effluent treatment plants, a light rail system, and other logistics facilities. The project also includes academic, research, and training facilities, along with townships. A major chunk of the area will be earmarked for establishing manufacturing units for bulk drugs and formulations.
Apart from offering a plug and play environment, the state government has also promised to secure environmental clearances for the entire park so that the companies looking to set up their units in the park do not have to secure these clearances on a stand-alone basis.
The total project cost is estimated to be Rs 5,157 crore, which the government proposes to raise through various means, including grants and private participation. Close to 10,000 acres of government land is being made available for the project, while an equal amount of land, which is proposed to be acquired from farmers, is yet to be procured.
This massive industrial park is expected to create jobs for 1.5 million people once fully developed. The pharma city's total power requirement is estimated to be 950 Mw and the government plans to set up a 250-Mw gas-based power plant in the pharma city itself.
The Environment Protection Training and Research Institute (EPTRI), at Hyderabad, which has undertaken the basic environmental impact assessment study, has maintained that this zero-liquid discharge park will not have any adverse ecological impact if the proper pollution management steps are taken.
However, citing past experiences in industrial townships like Patancheru, which was a major hub for chemical units in the 80's and the 90's, some local environmental groups are planning to oppose the project.