India Pioneer In Vaccine Production, Why Only Private Companies Manufacturing it?: Madras High Court Bats For Revival Of Govt. Owned Vaccine Institutes

Home   /   India Pioneer In Vaccine Production, Why Only Private Companies Manufacturing it?: Madras High Court Bats For Revival Of Govt. Owned Vaccine Institutes

first_imgNews UpdatesIndia Pioneer In Vaccine Production, Why Only Private Companies Manufacturing it?: Madras High Court Bats For Revival Of Govt. Owned Vaccine Institutes Sparsh Upadhyay9 May 2021 1:28 AMShare This – xPhoto Credits: APOur anguish is that when the Government itself is having the vaccines manufacturing institutes, such institutes [dying public sector undertakings] may be revived and they may be put into effective use, so that the Government may be in a position to cover all the citizens, besides will not be in a position to bargain with the private institutes at this difficult time: Madras High CourtObserving that India is one of the pioneers in the production of the vaccine, the Madras High Court on Thusrday (May 6) asked the Central Government as to what are the steps taken by it to revive the existing Vaccine Institutes owned by them. The Bench of Justice M. S. Ramesh and Justice B. Pugalendhi was hearing a plea seeking directions to the UOI, Tamil Nadu State, and Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited to undertake the maintenance procedures for the Oxygen plant in BHEL, Trichy. The case of the petitioner Two issues were raised by the petitioner. One was with regard to utilizing the Oxygen plants available in BHEL, Trichy, for production of Oxygen to meet the present distress situation. Another one was with regard to utilizing the services of HLL Biotech Ltd. (Government of India Enterprise under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare) Integrated Vaccines Complex (IVC), Chengalpattu, for production of vaccines. The petitioner submitted that BHEL, Trichy, is having the facility of Oxygen production with three Oxygen plants, having a capacity of 140 metric cube per hour, but, those plants are shut down since 2003. According to him, those units could be revived in order to meet the demand of Oxygen for the COVID patients. Court’s observations Regarding HLL Biotech Ltd (HBL) Integrated Vaccines Complex (IVC), Chengalpattu, the Court noted that it is a dedicated state-of-art vaccine manufacturing unit, and was established to produce lifesaving and cost effective vaccines primarily to minimize the demand-supply gap and to support the Government in the Universal Immunization program. The Court also said, “Literally speaking, a complex, which is declared as Project of National Importance and established with an estimated cost of around Rs.594/- Crores, is lying idle for the past nine years, since 2012.” Further, noting that India is the World’s largest exporter of vaccines, the Court observed that presently, only two private Indian vaccine manufacturers are in the field of producing vaccines for COVID, namely, Serum Institute of India (SII) and Bharat Biotech. In this backdrop, the Court said, “One thing is clear that at present, the Government is procuring COVID vaccines, namely, COVAXIN from Bharat Biotech and COVISHIELD from Serum Institute of India, which are private enterprises, meaning thereby, the vaccines manufacturing institutes owned by the Government are not at all utilized.” Significantly, the Court said that it was not finding fault with the Government’s action in procuring the vaccines from private enterprises or the deliberations with regard to the fixation of price, however, the Court observed, “Our anguish is that when the Government itself is having the vaccines manufacturing institutes, such institutes [dying public sector undertakings] may be revived and they may be put into effective use, so that the Government may be in a position to cover all the citizens, besides will not be in a position to bargain with the private institutes at this difficult time.” In view of the foregoing discussions, this Court raises the following queries to be answered by the respondents: Whether Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. [BHEL], Trichy, is having the facility for production of Oxygen with three Oxygen plants, having capacity of 140 metric cube per hour, as claimed by the petitioner? What are all the steps taken by the Government to work out the possibility of production of Oxygen from BHEL, Trichy? How many Government-owned Vaccines Manufacturing Institutes are available in India and the details thereof, including their date of commencement of operation, production capacity and the present status of such Institutes? When was the Integrated Vaccines Complex [IVC], Chengalpattu established, what is the production capacity and the present status? If the vaccine, COVAXIN, is developed by Bharat Biotech, with the assistance of the Indian Council for Medical Research [ICMR] – National Institute of Virology [NIV], why these vaccines are developed only at a private institute, instead of utilizing the services of the existing Government Vaccine Manufacturing Institutes? The details as to the amount incurred by the Government of India for procuring the vaccines, including COVID vaccine, per year, for the past five years? When the Government of India is spending huge amount for procuring the vaccines from the private enterprises, what are the steps taken by the Government to revive the existing Vaccine Institutes owned by them? Lastly, the Court posted the matter for further hearing May 19. Case title – A. Veronica Mary v. Union Of India [WP (MD) No. 9119 of 2021] Click here To Download OrderRead OrderTagsBharat Heavy Electricals Limited Tamil Nadu Government Union Government Vaccine Production Government Owned Vaccine Institutes vaccine institutes Bharat Biotech Covaxin COVISHIELD Vaccine Covid vaccine oxygen Plants OXYGEN Supply Of Oxygen Oxygen Shortage Justice M. S. Ramesh Justice B. Pugalendhi #Madras High Court Madras High Court Madras High Court Madurai Bench Madras High Court (Madurai Bench) Next Storylast_img

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