New pharma clusters to come up in nine Telangana districts, Health News, ET HealthWorld


Hyderabad: Shelving the previous BRS regime’s single mega pharma city plan, the state government has now decided to set up a dozen smaller pharma villages across the state – at least 50 to 60 km beyond the Outer Ring Road (ORR). The nine districts identified for these clusters are: Rangareddy, Sangareddy, Vikarabad, Mahabubnagar, Medak, Medchal-Malkajgiri, Siddipet, Yadadri-Bhuvanagiri and Nalgonda.

Already, collectors of these districts have been asked to identify land parcels – of 1,000 to 3,000 acres — to execute the project, expected to take off in the next 12 months. It is being conceived as part of the state government’s ‘Mega Master Plan – 2050’.

Salient features of these pharma villages: Limited footprint of not more than 20 to 30 companies at each site, located far from human habitation and closer to the proposed Regional Ring Road (RRR), and self-sustaining.

“The idea is to develop 10 to 12 such villages that are well connected – through the RRR and state/national highways – and self-contained with education, health and social infrastructure,” said Jayesh Ranjan, principal secretary, IT and industries.

Skilling facilities being planned to train & employ locals: Jayesh
Housing is also an important factor that we are considering here, having learnt our lesson with Genome Valley where the lack of residential space around it was a constant complaint,” said Jayesh Ranjan.

Explaining why the government has decided to restrict the footprint in each village he said: “A smaller group of companies will help with better monitoring and regulating issues such as pollution. Even the accountability quotient of these firms will be higher. In case of a larger pool, it is tough to track every operation,” said Ranjan, adding there is also a plan to set up skilling facilities in these clusters to train and employ local talent.

Industry experts believe it is a model worth experimenting with. “It is a myth that industries have to be close to the city to succeed. The advantage with Telangana is that almost every part of it is just a few hours’ drive from the Shamshabad airport and that augurs well for investors. Smaller clusters will be ecologically friendly, sustainable, and also be a great way to create employment opportunities,” said Vishal Goel, co-founder of JV Ventures.

While urban planners and environmentalists agree that decentralising economic activity is the future, they aren’t convinced about this plan addressing issues like pollution. “Telangana is already saturated with pharma activity. We have seen models where even single pharma units – in areas like Chotuppal, Polepally, Pochampally etc – had a damaging impact on the environment,” said environmentalist D Narasimha Reddy.

Architect Srinivas Murthy averred: “Cleaning a city requires multiple solutions including strengthening public transport and capping construction activity.”

  • Published On Jan 24, 2024 at 02:24 PM IST

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