TNPCB Issues Closure Notice for Aurobindo Pharma for Consent Condition Violation; SACEM Demands Prosecution

Cuddalore 4 June 2009: The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board issued closure notice to Aurobindo Pharma for violating conditions levied on the unit in its Consent to Operate. According to the letter of the District Environment Engineer (DEE) dated 26.05.2009, the DEE states he carried an inspection of the unit after receiving community complaints that the unit was producing material ? 7 AVNA, for which it had no consent. The DEE also stated that during the inspection though the unit was not in operation, the recordings at the gate pass of the unit revealed that the unit had indeed transported consignments of 7 AVNA on several occasions in March and April 2009. Even in its response to the show cause notice issued to the unit, the unit accepted that it had ?conducted trial runs of the product? and would not produce further until it obtains consent from the Board.

The closure notice issued on 26.05.2009 ordered an immediate disconnection of electricity for the period of 15 days and closure of the unit. SACEM monitors urged the TNPCB for proceeding with prosecution of the Directors of the unit and expressed that until the violators of Consent conditions are prosecuted these kinds of offences in SIPCOT would not come down. According to SACEM, industries in SIPCOT build/ commence operations first and obtain permissions later. Information published in SACEM report of December 2008 titled "Groundtruths II: Status of Hazardous Wastes and Pollution in SIPCOT Chemical Estate, Cuddalore", reveals that at least 8 of the existing units in and around SIPCOT area do not have a valid Consent to Establish; 22 are operating without a valid license under Air and Water Acts, at least 17 of them do not have a valid authorization under the Hazardous Waste Rules and 5 out of 7 SIPCOT units that require CRZ clearance do not have this clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Forests.