Indian court blocks Amara Raja battery plants closure orders

by Margaret Lau
Company said the environment, health and safety has always been its 'highest priority'. Photo: Amara Raja
A court in India has granted an interim suspension of orders to close two production plants operated by lead battery manufacturer Amara Raja Batteries.

The move puts a temporary stop on orders from the Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board (APPCB) to close the plants at Karkambadi and Nunegundlapalli, in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh state, amid allegations involving environmental regulations.

Amara Raja warned earlier this week that the closures could have a "calamitous” impact on back-up power supplies for India’s hospitals and other essential services during the pandemic.

However, the battery maker said yesterday that the High Court of Andhra Pradesh had granted an interim suspension of APPCB’s orders – and that the company was "committed to working closely with APPCB officials for a satisfactory resolution of the matter in the interest of all stakeholders”.

Environmental awards

Amara Raja said in a statement it had "always placed the highest priority on the environment and the health and safety of its workforce and surrounding communities”.

The company did not disclose the impact that the closure orders, issued on 30 April, would have had on its battery manufacturing operations.

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

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