Hyderabad: Industries in Patancheru mandal of Medak district are not just polluting the environment but also exploiting ground water without permission.
The Telangana State Pollution Control Board noticed that seven companies were extracting ground water without obtaining permission from the Central Ground Water Authority which is mandatory.
Of these, seven which include Parle Agro Private Limited, Reliance Cellulose and Rallis India had shut down operations. The industrial areas where these companies are located fall under the Medak district which has the worst ground water level in Telangana, where the average depth as per the latest statistics is 21.53 metres below ground level.
While the illegal extraction through borewells can be easily caught, Pollution Control Board officials said that many companies located in the region are using services of illegally run private water tanker units for their manufacturing plants apart from the water supplied to them by the government.
There is no clear estimate available with the government to indicate how much water is being used by all these industries. Patancheru mandal is home to more than 300 industries of which around 130 fall under the red category of polluting industries including 26 bulk drug industries.
Industries’ threat over strict norms
Some industries turn hostile when pollution control measures are implemented by the Pollution Control Board. Officials stated that they sometimes receive threats from industry representatives that if stricter norms are implemented they will move to other states that have easier norms.
An official said, “In 2015 the TSPCB resorted to ensuring measures like zero liquid discharge, installing GPS on trucks which transport effluents and ensuring better management of pollution in red category companies. This resulted in some companies telling us that if norms are made stricter, new industries will not come to TS and the existing ones will shut operations.”
This is the reason that companies that are caught for violations are usually given a few chances to rectify their mistake rather than being handed out punishments....