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Telangana, Andhra Pradesh on path of self-annihilation: CSE

Telangana and Andhra Pradesh may be on a path of “self-annihilation” as the two states have embarked on a “reckless” race for attracting industrial investment while putting all green concerns on the backburner, a green body has said.

“Telangana, India’s newest state, and Andhra Pradesh may very well be on a path of self-annihilation.”

“The two states have embarked on a reckless race for attracting industrial investment, putting all environmental concerns on the backburner and creating a potential trigger for a conflagration between industry and agriculture,” Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) said in its science and environment weekly.

The report noted that both the states were “outdoing” each other to offer packages of unprecedented goodies, including assured clearance of large investment proposals, single-desk clearance, self-certification, protection from inspections, priority allocation of water, land and uninterrupted power.

“Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are primarily agrarian states. The state governments should have carefully examined the issues in their states before formulating policies that grant the right to clearances without sufficient checks and balances and allocating large amounts of water and land to industry.”

“This is all the more important because this model has not worked for other states and can trigger conflicts while depleting natural resources irreversibly,” Richard Mahapatra, Down to Earth’s Managing Editor, said.

The report said that while industry has hailed the policies as ‘imaginative and innovative’, environmentalists and activists are “appalled”.

“The states are witnessing rampant pollution of natural resources, a prolonged agrarian crisis (in Telangana) and a host of other unresolved issues which need to be addressed,” the report said.

Noting that the provisions of Telangana State Industrial Project Approval and Self-Certification System (TS-iPASS) is “astounding”, the report said the policy mandates that permissions and licences will be given within 15 days for big projects and if no decision is taken during this period, it will be deemed to have been given.

The report said that Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu’s policies too are aimed at the same bounty as the state is offering a land bank of half a million hectares, and is trying to attract an investment of Rs 2 lakh crore. “Like Telangana, the state is offering its natural resources uninhibitedly,” it said.

When contacted, senior officials of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana declined to respond on the matter saying they will be able to comment only after going through the report.