Not everyone in the Visakhapatnam Special Economic Zone is adhering to the pollution norms laid down and there are reports of violation of rules.
47 SEZs have been developed by AP Industrial Infrastructure Corporation and many are violating pollution norms and rules laid down. The issue has already reached the Central Government with Opposition taking up the issue with Environment Ministry of Government of India. 18 SEZ covering pharmaceuticals, textiles, food processing, chemicals, bio-diesel and multi-products have deep impact on the environment.
As per reports of Deccan Chronicle – “The SEZ lacked adequate capacity effluent treatment plants to ensure that water bodies did not get polluted due to the release of untreated sewage from industries. Most times, software tools of the ambient air quality measuring stations in the industries, giving real-time pollution measures, were defunct. As a result, data is unavailable online. Highlighting the violation of pollution norms in Atchutapuram SEZ in Visakhapatnam, Rajya Sabha member (YSRC) V. Vijayasai Reddy met Union environment minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan and urged him to constitute an inquiry to fix up the responsibility on officials.”
Terms and conditions have been laid out for every SEZ in Visakhapatnam and pollution norms and guidelines are there to protect the environment here from possible hazard. Flouting these indicates a disregard for care. The Atchutapuram SEZ is supposed to have 3 Common Effluent Treatment Plants (CEPT) and a Sewerage Treatment Plant (7 MLD) as per terms and conditions. However, there is none yet as also the Greenbelt that had been mandated as a condition. The cost of development should not be compensated by the people and this has raised angry voices against the functioning of every SEZ in Visakhapatnam.