KAKINADA/VIJAYAWADA: Days after a violent protest at Kothapakalu village in Thondangi mandal of East Godavari district against the setting up of Divis pharmaceutical bulk drug manufacturing factory, the State government on Saturday stepped in to resolve the issue.
The government made it clear to the pharma company management that the works should be stopped immediately till the concerns raised by the local villagers are addressed.
The development comes a day after the police registered cases against more than 170 protestors under non-bailable sections of attempt to murder based on a complaint lodged by the company management.
Industries Minister Mekapati Goutham Reddy held talks virtually with the company management as per the directive of Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy.
The government put forth five demands before the management for which the latter responded positively.
The demands include immediate withdrawal of cases registered against the protestors. Apart from it, the government wanted the management to hold negotiations with the villagers and local fisherman about the pollution related aspects and make them agree to the setting up of the unit.
“The company management should also give assurance that the effluents released by it will not cause harm to the environment as well as the health of the local fishermen,’’ Goutham Reddy said and directed Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board (APPCB) Managing Director Vivek Yadav to ensure that the environment related aspects are looked after by experts.
Similarly, the government wanted the management to provide 75 per cent of jobs in the unit to locals for which the government will provide skill support and if necessary, a skill centre will be set up there.
It also asked the management to lay special emphasis on the welfare of locals apart from what it spends under its CSR.
Responding, Divis pharma director Kiran Divi said they have already taken up CSR activities, and promised to provide 75 per cent of jobs to locals and withdraw the complaint against the protestors.