Fire at Auctus Pharma unit

| Updated on: Oct 09, 2012

A fire broke out in Auctus Pharma unit in the Jawaharlal Pharma City at Parawada in Visakhapatnam district on Monday around 11 p.m. triggering panic in the adjoining village of Tadi and forcing the villagers to flee from the spot.

The unit produces bulk drugs and intermediates. According to revenue divisional officer Rangaiah, three tanks containing mother liquid and two other tanks caught fire and some of the liquids also spilled out of the premises on to the road. The fire was brought under control within two hours.

Unable to bear the stench, and unaware of what was happening, the residents of Tadi village vacated the village in panic and rushed to the nearby national highway.

According to Venkata Lakshmi, it was a nightmarish experience for pregnant women, old men and women and children in particular, as they were rushing through the fields. "It has become impossible to live in Tadi village as the pharma units have made our lives miserable," she said.

The villagers later assembled at the front gate of the unit and staged demonstrations. They wanted the village to be relocated and permanent rehabilitation measures, as five pharma units in the Pharma City were too close to the village for comfort.

Telugu Desam leader B Satyanarayana Murthy, who participated in the agitation, said it was callous on the part of the administration to subject the residents of the village to such torture.

"There is no buffer zone between the units and the village. Either the village has to be relocated or the five pharma units shut down. Sometime ago, notices were served on the units to shut down production but again they were given permission to resume production, unmindful of the safety of the public in the vicinity. The Government has to address the problem in right earnest. We are not politicising it. It is a genuine problem," he said.

Published on October 09, 2012

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