In the fight against COVID-19, Punjab Industries Department has reached out to the governments of national capital Delhi and states like Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand with an offer to supply disinfectant Sodium Hypochlorite at “cost price”.
On March 26, Punjab Industries department wrote to chief secretaries of Delhi, Haryana, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh describing Sodium Hypochlorite as disinfectant and offered to supply it in case of requirement.
The disinfectant, which is used for street fumigation, is already being supplied by Nangal-based Punjab Alkalies and Chemicals Limited (PACL) for street fumigation in Punjab.
An official of the PACL told The Indian Express that “in last three to four days, 60 to 70 tonnes of Sodium Hypochlorite was delivered to Haryana government for street fumigation in Karnal, Pehowa, Kurukshetra, Ladwa and Naruana.
PACL Managing Director Manjit Singh Brar said, “We are providing the disinfectant at its cost price only. This is not the time to make profit.”
The PACL official entrusted to deal with Delhi and Haryana said that while supply of disinfectant had already started in Haryana, there were queries for the supply from Delhi.
A correspondence to the state by Punjab Industries Director-cum-Special Secretary Sibin C read:”Sodium Hypo is best disinfectant and is being used as Sanitiser Spray for de-contamination purposes in villages and cities. PACL Nangal manufactures Sodium Hypo product under the chemical name as Sodium Hypochlorite (NaOCL) 10 per cent. It is similar to Red Harpic sold in retail packs.”
The correspondence noted that “the product is transported/dispatched in the MS Rubber line tankers. At user’s end Sodium Hypo should be unloaded/stored in suitable capacity (1 KL, 2 KL, 5 KL) storage tanks of material of construction such as PVC/HDPE (Sintex). Before dilution this should not be handled with naked hands, but with gloves.”
The correspondence further described the method and quantity to be used as it read, “Sodium Hypo supplied by PACL is to be diluted with water to the ration 1:10 (1 part Sodium Hypo mixed with 10 parts of water). Diluted Sodium Hypo (1 per cent to 1.5 per cent) then can be used as spray for the purposes of sanitisation/disinfection of the streets/areas. It is advised that during spraying the operational staff should wear gloves and use protective eye wear as the product has chlorine.”
Talking to The Indian Express, Sibin C said, “We have written to the chief secretaries of Delhi, Haryana, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh in this regard. We have also given the contact numbers of the officials who have been deputed for state wise coordination.”
An official said PACL has a capacity to produce more than 150 tonnes of Sodium Hypochlorite, a byproduct of Caustic Soda, daily depending upon the demand.
As per Punjab Alkalies website, PACL is the largest producers of Caustic Soda in northern region. While the main product is Caustic Soda Lye, the website says, its byproducts are Hydrochloric Acid, Liquid Chlorine, Sodium Hypochlorite and Hydrogen Gas.
“The Company was incorporated as a Public Limited Company on 1st December 1975 under the name Punjab Alkalies Limited. The name of the company was subsequently changed to Punjab Alkalies & Chemicals Limited and a Fresh Certificate of Incorporation consequent on change of name dated 19th April 1983 was obtained from the Registrar of Companies, Punjab, HP & Chandigarh, Jalandhar,” reads the company website.