Andhra Pradesh Industries Minister Mekapati Goutham Reddy on Wednesday pulled up a pharmaceutical company in the state and instructed Pollution Control Board (PCB) officials to come up with a preventive mechanism that ensures that industrial refuse and discarded chemicals from a Divi’s plant in East Godavari district should not seep into the ground.
“Do an in-depth study on Divi’s and other industries’ pollution,” said Reddy, even as he directed that the establishment of the pharmaceutical plant should not adversely affect local hatcheries.
The Industries Minister, who held a virtual conference with Divi’s management and senior officials from various departments as well as local MLA Datisetty Raja, directed officials to submit a report on the possible pollution from Divi’s plant and other industries and how to contain that, within the first week of February.
MLA Raja informed the minister that locals were infuriated with Divi’s, to which Reddy said that their anxieties should be taken into account to resolve a stalemate, as any delay would not bode well for the pharmaceutical industry.
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In December, more than 36 locals protesting against the construction of Divi’s pharmaceutical plant in Kona forest of East Godavari district were arrested. The Minister directed Divi’s officials to withdraw the complaint and asked officials to ensure that cases were withdrawn and all protesters were released.
Divi’s is planning to set up a new pharmaceutical unit in the district, with an investment of Rs 1,500 crore, which was expected to commence operations within 12 to 18 months after the project began.
However, it has run into trouble with locals, who allege that the unit would severely pollute the environment and affect their livelihood.
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