Question: A big corporate house is engaged in manufacturing industrial chemicals on a large scale. It proposes to set upon the additional unit. Many states rejected its proposal due to the detrimental effect on the environment. But one state government acceded to the request and permitted the unit close to a city, brushing aside all opposition.
The unit was set up 10 years ago and was in full swing till recently. The pollution caused by the industrial effluents was affecting the land, water and crops in the area. The State government ordered the closure of the factory.
The closure of the factory resulted in the unemployment of not only those workers who were engaged in the factory but also those who were working in the ancillary units. It also very badly affected those industry which depended on the chemicals manufactured by it.
As a senior officer entrusted with the responsibility of handling this issues, how are you going to address it?
Answer: The above mentioned case is an example of clash between environmental responsibility of an individual and duty to provide development in the region. It requires proper balance between environmental ethics and developmental ethics.
My course of action
- My first course of action would be to look for solution that will keep the factory running under better environmental conditions as well as keep the jobs of the people.
- I would firstly visit the factory to analyse what were the issues that led to the factory closure. I would try to see if the factory could be modified.
- If the conditions are good for modification, I would request for a special group of experts who can look for solutions for developing the factory under acceptable conditions.
- When the plans of modification is final I would need to convince the people for their approval for this project to go ahead. I would have to provide them with proof so that they trust the administration.
- The factory administration would need to make the changes in the working so as to comply with the environmental standards. If the factory does not have any funds, I would consider providing them with necessary resources so that they can go ahead.
- In a scenario where no modification can be undertaken, then alternative plans have to be made so that people do not suffer. This can be done through setting up of another industry that is less polluting.
- If no such industry is set up, I would have to take steps that can allow the job losers to attain financial security. This can be done through supporting self employment by providing them with loans to set up small cooperative industries or small business.
Thus, the main aspects where I should focus in this issue would be people’s employment and environmental pollution. If both the issues are addressed then I would consider this a successful operation.