The AP Pollution Control Board (APPCB) has issued closure orders to the Amara Raja Batteries. The company has received notices dated April 30 for the closure of its manufacturing facilities situated at Karakambadi, Tirupati and Nunegundlapalli in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh.
Amara Raja Batteries said, "The company as a responsible corporate, has always placed highest priority to environmental management systems and have adopted best environmental practices over the last few years. In our organisation, we have maintained the highest standards of pollution control measures including employee health and safety." ARBL belongs to the family of former TD legislator Galla Arunakumari and Guntur TD MP Galla Jayadev.
According to the notice, “The lead values in the blood samples of the people residing in the surrounding villages are high. The lead value is around 35%. Excess lead values in blood samples of the people indicate that the operation of these units is endangering public health."
The inspection team had collected blood samples from 3,533 employees working in the company. According to the reports, the percentage of lead in the blood samples was revealed to be high. On April 6, AP PCB officials issued show cause notices to Amar Raja Batteries. On April 20, the company replied that, "The External Advisory Committee (EAC) met on April 22 to discuss the issue in detail."
The AP government directed the PCB to shut down Amar Raja Batteries as it has been flouting norms. Also, the AP Southern Power Distribution Company Limited was directed to cut power supply to the two units.