Solved Ethics Papers

Q10. Closure of A Polluting Company

Q10. A big corporate house is engaged in manufacturing industrial chemicals on a large scale. It proposes to set up an 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. It was also causing serious health problems to human beings and animals. This gave rise to a series of agitations in which thousands of people took part, creating a law and order problem necessitating stern police action. Following the public outcry, 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 the industry which depended on the chemicals manufactured by it.
As a senior officer entrusted with the responsibility of handling these issues, how are you going to address them? (250 words) 20
 
Answer
It is difficult for a state to develop without the growth of business and industry. Large industries employ a large number of local people and generate employment for them. In addition to the direct employment in the industry, many more people get employment in supporting business activities like transport and hospitality sector. The ancillary companies related with any major industry also provide large scale employment. Closure of an industry causes unemployment due to diminishing business activities in the area. Moreover, if a well-established industry is closed due to public protest, often supported by the rival political parties, it also deters other businesses from investing in the state causing further damage to the economy of the state.
 
As a senior officer of the government, we must take a holistic view of the situation and work for the long term development of the society. The following measures may be taken to overcome the situation:
 
1. Ask the factory owner to install good effluent treatment plant to treat the harmful chemicals produced in the factory.
2. Talk to the representatives of the local people and inform them of the measures taken by the factory owner.
3. Form a supervising committee including public representatives, company’s representatives and experts from reputed organisations like IITs to ensure that harmful effluents are not discharged by the factory.
4. Create awareness through the social and electronic media about the measures taken by the government to control effluents and the benefits of restarting the company for the people and the state.
5. Provide safety and security of the factory, plant and machinery and to the factory workers who are willing to join their duties. (275 words)
Q10. Closure of A Polluting Company
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