Courts on Polluting Industries: Patancheru and Bollaram Industrial Area

Did the polluter pay?

Summary: The case brief explores the use of the polluter pays principle to hold the industries in Patancheru and Bollaram Industrial Development area in Telangana accountable, and examines why justice has been delayed for so long.

This case brief is on the long drawn legal battle spanning 30 years and concerning pollution beginning in the 1970s by nearly 200 chemical and pharmaceutical industries in the Patancheru and Bollaram Industrial Development area, in Medak District, Telangana. The legal claim revolved around the discharge of unscientific waste in the Nakkavagu stream, contamination of drinking water and ground water, and the consequent compensation to locals living in the area for harm to their health and livelihoods.

The brief explores the use of the polluter pays principle to hold the industries accountable, and examines why justice has been delayed for so long. It is especially important in understanding how competing interests of different kinds of stakeholders, be it pharmaceutical companies, local communities or regulatory bodies, have not been balanced.

On December 2 at 6 PM, Vidhi is screening an accompanying documentary ‘An Unequal Fight’ that takes forward this conversation. More details here.

The brief and accompanying documentary are part of Vidhi’s year-long research project tracking landmark judgments and orders on a wide range of issues such as the firecrackers ban in Delhi, industrial pollution in Patancheru (Telangana), impact of dams in Uttarakhand, waste management in Delhi and protection of wildlife corridors around Kaziranga National Park (Assam).

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