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Peethaambaran Kunnathoor, Chennai September 10 , 2020
Buoyed by the Central government’s initiatives to incentivize bulk drug manufacturers of the country to encourage domestic drug manufacturing and to reduce dependence on China for APIs, the government of Odisha has accorded an in-principle approval for a bulk drug park to be set up at Gopalpur in Ganjam district.

In order to speed up the project, the industry department will soon set up a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) and the detailed report will be sent to the union government before the 25th of this month for its green signal, sources informed Pharmabiz.

According to information received from Bhubaneswar, the pharma park for the active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) will be set up in a 1000 acre land area at the Tata Steel Special Economic Zone (Tata SEZ) at Gopalpur which is well connected with national highways and the air port. The park will be established with the financial assistances of both union government and the state government. The estimated cost of the infrastructure development for the park is Rs. 1,500 crore, out of which Rs. 1,000 crore is expected from Central government.

The project envisages all infrastructure facilities for the API park which is expected to consist of a technology business incubator (TBI) to support start-ups, advanced effluent treatment plant (ETP), solid waste management (SWM) facilities, warehousing, own power distribution system, common cooling system, state-of-the-art testing laboratory and IPR services. It is estimated that the API park can provide job opportunities for 5,000 people with priority for pharmacy graduates and postgraduates.

“It is in the preliminary stage, but it will boost the entire pharma sector of Odisha and will be a boon to the pharmacy qualified people for obtaining quality jobs in their own state”, said AS Das, the drugs controller of Odisha.

Hailing the government for its pharma development project of a pharma park for Odisha, the president of the Utkal (Odisha) Chemists and Druggists Association (UCDA), P Satyanarayana, said the proposed API park will uplift the pharmaceutical manufacturing sector in Odisha which is one of the oldest states in the country that started pharmacy education. Satyanarayana who is also the chairman of Odisha Pharmacy Colleges Association opined that the state is blessed with good climate, infrastructure facilities and having no labour problem. It has highly qualified pharmacy degree holders and quality education is given to students of all sectors in pharmaceutical sciences. So, the entrepreneurs in the state feel that the bulk drug park planned by the state government will create more employment opportunities for the qualified pharmacy people and it will further encourage for quality drug production.

An academician-cum-drug trader, Satyanarayana had three manufacturing companies at a time when the state had more than 100 manufacturing units in 1990s. He said when the GMP norms were strictly implemented many of the units could not withstand the WHO-GMP standards, hence several units were closed down their operations. Currently Odisha has only 25 manufacturing units under private sector and the Orissa Drugs and Chemicals Ltd (ODCL) under the public sector.

The secretary of Odisha APTI, Dr. Rejath Kumar Kar, while welcoming the government project said he will submit a recommendation to the chief minister and to the union government asking for priority for employment opportunities for the unemployed pharmacy qualified people of Odisha in the soon-to-be-started API park.

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