The Congress government in Telangana has decided to scrap the Hyderabad Pharma City, the much-talked-about exclusive facility for pharmaceutical companies marketed heavily by the erstwhile Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) government.

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Industries and IT Minister D Sridhar Babu has announced that the government has decided to wind up the project keeping in view legal issues around it and the farmers’ demands. Issues related to the environment too are said to be one of the major reasons for winding up of the project.

The government, however, is bringing in an alternative policy to promote Pharma Villates, dispersing the growth of the pharma industry across the State. “We would like to promote the industry across the State. To start with, we will set up 10 pharma villages. Of these, three will be set up in Nalgonda, Vikarabad and Medak districts. “Each of these projects will be taken up in 1,000-2,000 acres. We will talk to the prospective investors and assess their land requirement,” he said, talking to reporters on the sidelines of BioAsia 2024.

Pharma City

The BRS government positioned Hyderabad Pharma City as the world’s largest integrated cluster for pharmaceutical industries with a focus on research and development and manufacturing. Recognised as a National Investment and Manufacturing Zone (NIMZ) by the Centre, the facility is located about 25 km from the Hyderabad international airport.

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The aim was to attract investments to the tune of $9.7 billion and provide employment to over 5.6 lakh people. However, the project was mired in controversies, the major ones being legal. There also were protests being staged by environmentalists and farmers in the vicinity.

Policy continuation

Asked whether the decision to scrap the project would be detrimental to the policy continuation and the confidence of the industry, the Industries Minister said the Government would always continue good policies. “If there are any lapses and inefficiencies, we don’t mind changing them. We will continue and better all the good policies,” he said.

Genome Valley

He said the government has acquired land for the expansion of the Genome Valley, an exclusive area in Shamirpet where over 200 life sciences companies set up their facilities. “We have identified 300 acres there. We are expecting investments in the range of ₹22,000-30,000 crore in the second phase,” he said.