Amara Raja warns battery plant closure orders could hit vital Indian services such as hospitals

by John Shepherd
Indian lead battery manufacturer, Amara Raja Batteries, has warned of a potentially "calamitous” impact on back-up power supplies for India’s hospitals and other essential services, after the firm was ordered to close two battery production plants amid allegations involving environmental regulations.

The warning came after the Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board (APPCB) issued closure orders for plants at Karkambadi and Nunegundlapalli, in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh state.

However, the company said it was in talks with state authorities to try and reach a "satisfactory resolution, which is in the interest of all stakeholders”, in a bid to avoid disruptions of back-up power supplies "to some of our largest clients in sensitive sectors”.

Contingency measures

"At a time of a national emergency in the form of the Covid pandemic, such a disruption could be calamitous,” a company spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said the company was taking "all necessary steps” to comply with the orders given by APPCB and had enacted contingency measures to avoid disruptions of battery supplies to key sectors including hospitals, defence and telecoms.

The company did not disclose the impact of the closure orders, issued on 30 April, on its battery manufacturing operations.

All Amara Raja’s manufacturing plants have undergone various annual and bi-annual environmental audits and certifications over many years and "have received several awards for safety and environmental sustainability and have adhered to the highest norms of the environment, health and safety”, the spokesperson said.

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