Pune: MD Drugs Factory In Kurkumbh MIDC Ordered To Stop Manufacturing Activities, MPCB Issues Closure Directions

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Tikam Shekhawat

Pune, 21st February 2024: This morning, Punekar News broke an exclusive story about ‘Earthchem Laboratories’ in Kurkumbh MIDC, Pune, operating without essential government approvals such as a ‘Factory License’ from the ‘Directorate of Industrial Safety & Health’ (DISH) and ‘Consent to Operate’ from the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB).

Additionally, Punekar News raised questions whether DISH and MPCB would take notice of the situation and initiate legal action. The report highlighted ‘Earthchem Laboratories’ involvement in manufacturing and storage of Mephedrone, also known as MD or ‘Meow Meow’ a contraband drug. Pune City Police has seized 663.8 kg MD drugs worth Rs 1327 Crores from the premises of Earthchem Laboratories owned by Bhimaji Sable, a resident of Pimple Saudagar. This factory had supplied the drugs to other cities including Delhi. Till today evening, Pune police have seized 1688 kg MD drugs worth Rs 3276 Crore.

According to officials from the ‘Directorate of Industrial Safety & Health’, the plant was operating unlawfully without a valid factory license. Additionally, MPCB’s permission, granted in terms of ‘consent to operate’, was limited to the manufacturing of Potassium Chloride.
By this evening, Punekar News received documents from authorities indicating that ‘Maharashtra Pollution Control Board’ had visited the company’s plant today and issued ‘Closure’ notice to ‘Earthchem Laboratories’ manufacturing facility. The notice cited violations under Section 33A of the Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, and Section 31A of the Air (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.

Ravindra Andhale, the Regional Officer from the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB), announced, “After a comprehensive evaluation of the situation, the board has issued a closure directive against the company. Additionally, we have instructed the relevant authorities (MIDC and MSEDCL) to suspend the water and electricity supply to the company.”