May 26, 2021 12:56:04 am
EVEN as the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation has agreed to provide financial assistance to Hindustan Antibiotics (HA) Ltd, Pimpri, to manufacture a Covid-19 vaccine, former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has taken up the issue with the central government.
Over a month ago, HA had sought permission from the central government to produce a Covid-19 vaccine. As for which vaccine would be produced, a company spokesperson had said the government will take a decision in this regard.
“We had taken up the issue of manufacture of Covid vaccine by HA with our leader Devendra Fadnavis. He spoke to Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan…The former CM has told us that the Health Ministry is considering the proposal positively and will soon allow HA to manufacture the vaccine,” BJP’s Pimpri-Chinchwad unit president and MLA Mahesh Landge told The Indian Express on Tuesday.Landge said Fadnavis has promised him that he will keep pursuing the issue with the Centre till permission is given to Hindustan Antibiotics. “Since our leader is going to pursue the issue, now we are confident that HA will get permission and vaccine manufacturing will get underway,” he said.
On Monday, PCMC officials and BJP leaders discussed various issues pertaining to tackling the infection as well as manufacturing of Covid vaccine by HA. Landge said HA has sought Rs 12 crore in financial assistance from PCMC. “We have told HA that we will provide the money but it should sign an agreement with the PCMC to the effect that the vaccine manufactured will be first given to PCMC for its residents. Only after residents of Pimpri-Chinchwad are fully vaccinated, the vaccine can be distributed in other cities,” he said.
Landge said since manufacturing companies are not keen on supplying vaccines directly to the state government or civic bodies, HA restarting full-fledged production will not only make Pimpri-Chinchwad and Pune free of Covid but will also be a positive move for the local industrial sector. “With HA’s fate remaining uncertain for long, it has affected the industrial scenario in Pune. If HA starts operations again, it will a major shot in the arm for the sector,” he said.
Municipal Commissioner Rajesh Patil said the PCMC was ready to help HA manufacture the Covid vaccine.
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