Manufacturers of medical devices, medical equipment and medicines can use diesel generator sets to run their production facilities irrespective of the curbs imposed by pollution control agencies in the National Capital Region (NCR) from time to time.

The Central government’s Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region & Adjoining Areas has added these categories, along with medical services, as activities that are exempted from such restrictions.

The commission, in a directive on December 13, said activities or services categorised as emergency will be permitted to use diesel generator sets as an exception in NCR whenever orders for a ban are issued.

The commission’s recent directive for shutting down industrial units that use diesel generator sets in NCR as a temporary measure to bring down pollution levels in Delhi and adjoining areas had threatened to disrupt production of syringes and needles at India’s largest syringe maker located in Faridabad near Delhi. Though a clarification had allowed production of syringes, the latest directive has cleared the uncertainty regarding such curbs in future, increasing the attractiveness of NCR and adjoining areas as a medical device manufacturing location. Uttar Pradesh government, for instance, has been trying to develop a medical device park in Greater Noida.

“Many thanks to the Prime Minister’s Office, CM’s Office, Haryana, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and Department of Pharmaceuticals for their support. This directive has addressed the issue for the long term for the entire medical device industry,” says Rajiv Nath, CMD of Hindustan Syringes & Medical Device, and forum coordinator of the Association of Indian Medical Device Industry said.

The other category of activities and services that are permitted to use diesel generator sets include metro rail services, including trains and stations, airports, inter-state bus terminals, sewerage treatment plants, water pumping stations, national security and defence related installations, projects of national importance, elevators and escalators and railway services. The commission has asked all enforcement agencies like state pollution control boards to comply with its new directive.

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