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Pollution norms nod: HMD Healthcare restarts syringe output

The company’s units, along with 228 other factories in Faridabad, were issued a voluntary closure notice citing breach of pollution control norms.

By: ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi |
December 14, 2021 3:21:27 am
The HMD units are powered by piped natural gas (PNG) but were using diesel generator sets to make up for power disruption.

The country’s largest syringe maker HMD Healthcare, which had been asked to shut down its plants in Faridabad, has resumed production after an order from the Commission of Air Quality Management (CAQM) allowing it to do so. The company’s units, along with 228 other factories in Faridabad, were issued a voluntary closure notice citing breach of pollution control norms.

The HMD units are powered by piped natural gas (PNG) but were using diesel generator sets to make up for power disruption.

“Considering the fact that the said unit is producing crucial medical devices for Covid-19 vaccination and that the usage of diesel generator sets had not been on regular production mode the unit is permitted to reopen and resume operations subject to furnishing of an undertaking/affidavit of strict compliance of orders/directions of the Commission,” Rajesh Kumar, director, CAQM-Delhi NCR, said in a letter dated December 12.

After a voluntary closure notice was served on December 9, HMD’s managing director Rajiv Nath wrote to the Prime Minister’s Office about it and urged the CAQM “to withdraw the order or make an exception looking at the critical nature of running their operation for the Covid-19 vaccination in India as well as globally”.

“Today (Monday) we start full operations on getting the formal letter,” Nath said in a statement.

“No one will want to run their plants on expensive diesel gensets even if they meet the emission norms with appropriate chimney heights,” he added. According to him, the per unit cost of power from diesel gensets is Rs 24 while that of the grid power is Rs 9 and PNG is Rs 13.90. HMD contributes to over 66 per cent of syringe supplies in India for curative healthcare and immunisation.

On a daily basis, it produces 1.5 crore needles and 80 lakh syringes in the plant that was closed.

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