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Closure notice issued to Cuddalore pharma unit

5 June 2009

Special Correspondent
The Hindu

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It produced a chemical without the consent of TNPCB

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CUDDALORE: The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) has issued closure notice to Aurobindo Pharma Ltd., located in SIPCOT Industrial Estate complex here, for producing a chemical without its consent.

Board sources said that the TNPCB had given permission to the company to produce a chemical product named 6-APA but it started to bring out a new product named 7-AVNA.

Following complaints from the Cuddalore District Consumer Protection Organisation, the Golabal Environment Monitoring and the SIPCOT Area Community Environment Monitoring, the Board inspected the company and detected the violation.

Health hazards

According to M. Nizamudeen, executive secretary of the consumer protection organisation, the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute had already come out with findings that environment in the industrial estate was highly polluted to the extent of causing health hazards to people.

Studies conducted by these three organisations had revealed that certain units in the industrial estate were producing unauthorised products thereby aggravating the problem.

Hence, they took up the issue with the State government and the TNPCB, following which the Cuddalore District Environmental Engineer (DEE) was deputed to inspect the pharma company.

Company records

From records of the company, the DEE found out that the firm had dispatched unauthorised products from its premises on March 26, 31 and April 14 and 19.

The company took the stand that the unit only carried out a trial production of the new product and given an assurance to the TNPCB that it would not go ahead with its production without the latter's consent.

Therefore, the Board sources said that the company had knowingly violated rules.

Hence, invoking Section 33A of the Water (Prevention and control of pollution) Act 1974 and Section 31A of the Air (Prevention and control of pollution) Act 1981, the TNPCB had issued closure notice to the company.

It had also directed the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board to stop power supply to the unit forthwith.

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