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Zydus R&D unit in Gujarat, India


Description:

Zydus Cadila is one of the top five Indian pharmaceutical companies.

The company mainly focuses on the pharmaceutical business and provides total healthcare solution globally. The company was founded by Late Mr. Ramanbhai B. Patel in 1952. In the early 1990’s, Zydus Cadila has become the second largest pharma company in India [1].

Recently, Zydus Research Centre (ZRC) located at Changodar near Ahmedabad come into a controversy for discharging untreated toxic water from its plant to the nearby well. In February 2014 depend upon some reliable source, the vigilance wing of Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) has found that the company is discharging untreated water from its plant to a adjoining bore well. The Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) has issued closure notices early March. The well was originally meant for accumulating rain water and is part of rainwater harvesting project.

GPCB has issued closure notices to the Research and Development (R&D) centre Zydus on March 1, 2014 [2].

Basic Data

Name of conflict:Zydus R&D unit in Gujarat, India
Country:India
State or province:Gujarat
(municipality or city/town)Changodar
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)

Source of Conflict

Type of conflict: 1st level:Waste Management
Type of conflict: 2nd level :Landfills, toxic waste treatment, uncontrolled dump sites
Specific commodities:Chemical products

Project Details and Actors

Project details:

Zydus Research Centre (ZRC) is the dedicated research and development (R&D) arm of Zydus Cadila. This unit was established in the year 2000. This modern research facility is spread over an area of about 3, 60,000 sq. ft. The unit is located at Changodar near Ahmedabad city. About 300 scientists and technologists are actively engaged in R&D in various disciplines of Biology and Bio pharmaceutical research. The Centre has received GLP Accreditation from National GLP (Good Laboratory Practices) compliance monitoring authority of Government of India [3].

Type of populationSemi-urban
Affected Population:Not known
Start of the conflict:01/03/2014
Company names or state enterprises:Zydus Cadila from India - Owner of the plant
Relevant government actors:Gujarat Pollution Control Board

Conflict and Mobilization

IntensityLATENT (no visible organising at the moment)
Reaction stageLATENT (no visible resistance)
Groups mobilizing:Local government/political parties
Local scientists/professionals
Gujarat Pollution Control Board authorities
Forms of mobilization:Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Occupation of buildings/public spaces

Impacts of the project

Environmental ImpactsVisible: Waste overflow, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Potential: Soil contamination, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Other Environmental impacts
Health ImpactsPotential: Infectious diseases, Other environmental related diseases
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Violations of human rights, Loss of landscape/sense of place

Outcome

Project StatusStopped
Conflict outcome / response:Compensation
Environmental improvements, rehabilitation/restoration of area
Strengthening of participation
Technical solutions to improve resource supply/quality/distribution
Application of existing regulations
Project temporarily suspended
Development of alternatives:Generally, chemical oxygen demand (COD) value of discharged water from the plant should be zero. However, the maximum of 2 mg/liter is allowed. During the inspection, GPCB officials have found that the COD value of waste water discharged from the plant is in very higher side of the permissible limit (about over 150 mg/liter). The higher COD value of the waste water from the plant is very dangerous for the people living in the periphery of the plant. The R&D facility of Zydus Cadila discharges about 30,000 liters of water every day. Hence strong and stringent measures should be taken so that the company could not release water from its plant untreated.

This is perhaps a very positive step from the part of Gujarat Pollution Control Board. Others will also learn lesson form this example [2].
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:The presence of toxic effluent in ground water aquifers would prove dangerous for people living near the R&D centre. The GPCB team has disconnected power supply to the research centre and sealed the premises [2].

Sources and Materials

Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

The air (prevention and control of pollution) act, 1981
http://envfor.nic.in/legis/air/air1.html

The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act
http://envfor.nic.in/division/water-pollution

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[2] R&D unit served closure notice over pollution
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/Zydus-RD-unit-served-closure-notice-over-pollution/articleshow/31357661.cms

[3] Zydus Cadila
http://www.zyduscadila.com/aboutzrc.html

[1] Zydus Cadila
http://www.zyduscadila.com/keyfacts.html

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Zydus Research unit served closure notice over pollution, Ahmedabad - Tv9 Gujarati (in Gujarati)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WR4glDf2KfQ

Meta information

Contributor:Swapan Kumar Patra
Last update04/06/2014