Hindustan Syringes and Medical Devices Ltd (HMD), India’s largest syringes & needles manufacturing company, has been asked to shut down its factory ‘voluntarily’ along with other over 128 large factories of Faridabad, as part of a pollution-control drive undertaken by authorities in the National Capital Region (NCR). HMD contributes to over 66% of syringe supplies in India for curative healthcare and immunisation.

The company has now asked the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and other administrative ministries for special permission to operate its units as disruption in production can impact even the ongoing Covid-19 vaccination programme due to shortage of syringe supplies.

The Haryana Pollution Control Board, on behalf of Central Govt Commission of Air Quality Management, has ordered the shutdown of the industries.

“We have been politely asked to shut other adjoining units, too, in our 11-acre complex on a voluntary basis. It’s going to be zero needles production instead of 150 lakh needles and 80 lakh syringes daily. As we can’t feed needles beyond two days buffer stock from Monday, other factories fed by our mother unit will be shut and will affect production of 1.2 crore syringes daily at a national level”, says Rajiv Nath, chairman and MD, Hindustan Syringes.

Nath says the company has almost shifted to PNG, and diesel generator sets are only for back-ups. “We have captive PNG-based power generation. We do have standby Diesel Gensets, but are hardly used since we have PNG that’s far cheaper and pollution free. We are not a polluting industry and one of our plants just got the Gold Certification for Green Building to meet sustainability standards,” he adds.

After shutting down production on Friday afternoon, the company has been sending letters , emails and messages to the PMO , ministers and secretaries of health and pharmaceutical ministries and chairman and member secretary of the Commission for Air Quality Management, seeking special permission to operate as is being done for hospitals and other healthcare services. Nath, who is also the coordinator of Association of Indian Medical Device (AIMED), has asked the government to declare Covid-19 critical medical devices, including syringes, as products of national importance under the National Disaster Management Act to ensure uninterrupted production and supplies of such products.

Follow us on Facebook, X, YouTube, Instagram and WhatsApp to never miss an update from Fortune India. To buy a copy, visit Amazon.