The pharmaceutical industry, primarily located at Paravada, Pydi Bheemavaram, Achyuthapuram, Nakkapally and Chippada on the outskirts of Visakhapatnam, has faced the wrath of Cyclone Hudhud.
“Many pharma units here have suffered extensive damage due to Cyclone Hudhud. While the asbestos ceilings were torn off and conveyor belts, boilers and other manufacturing equipment damaged, the raw material was completely washed away. According to preliminary estimates, the loss could be about Rs 200 crore,” a pharmaceutical unit official told Business Standard.
There are over 150 pharmaceutical units in Visakhapatnam, Sikakulam and Vizianagaram districts, providing direct and indirect employment to over 15,000. Most of these were set up as part of Hyderabad-based pharma companies’ expansion.
These firms looked at Vizag and neighbouring districts as an alternative to Hyderabad as the Pollution Control Board had been denying permissions to expand existing units in Hyderabad since the last eight years owing to the increasing pollution by the pharma industry.
At the Paravada Pharma City, set up on the outskirts on Visakhapatnam seven years ago, expansion activities had been severely hampered by Hudhud.
“Close to 110 companies have received approvals to set up manufacturing units at the Pharma City. While production at 40 units has already begun, 20 units are in various stages of development. All these activities came to a standstill now,” a government official said.
According to him, the units at Pharma City had incurred a loss of around Rs 50 crore. With the power supply to the units is expected only after 10 days, this loss could go up further, he added.