Plea in SC demands lease of Chengalpet vaccine facility to TN

Chennai: A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking directions to the Union government to hand over the premises of HILL Biotech Limited in Chengalpet to the government of Tamilnadu on lease to produce Covid-19 vaccines.

It seeks directions to ICMR to authorise public and private sector units to produce covaxin to meet the national emergency.

According to the plea filed by one S Jimraj Milton, “Government of India mandated HLL to establish a state of art vaccine manufacturing unit termed as ‘Integrated Vaccines Complex’ (IVC) at Chengalpattu near Chennai to produce lifesaving and cost-effective vaccines primarily to minimize the demand-supply gap and support GOI in the Universal Immunization program. However, the facility is now is deserted campus with staff shortage, unpaid wages and financial troubles personifying the Integrated Vaccine Complex (IVC) in Chengalpattu.”

“It is respectfully submitted that India is trying to ramp up the vaccination drive as a way out of the crisis however, a, beleaguered rolled raw material shortage and misplaced priorities, that only tiny percent of the country has been vaccinated and it is struggling to meet surging demand for a country of almost 1.4 billion people, the vaccine rollout in India was too slow with the present in the population of 133 crore people the number of vaccine required would be about 310 crore doses,” it added.

According to the petitioner, HILL complex a PSU under Health Ministry has been lying vacant since 2012 and the centre is trying to sell it, auction it to a pvt sector for vaccine manufacturing but has not been getting good response. CM of Tamilnadu had written to the centre seeking lease of the complex for vaccine production and it would be helpful if the premises is given.

 

NT Bureau