The team had met Stalin at the secretariat on Thursday to discuss manufacturing of vaccines in Tamil Nadu.
PUBLISHED ON JUN 05, 2021 12:20 AM IST
A day after meeting chief minister MK Stalin in Chennai, a top team from Bharat Biotech International Limited, the makers of Covaxin, visited the integrated vaccine complex (IVC) in Chengalpet on Friday.
A five-member team led by MD Suchitra Ella and executive director Sai Prasad were at the 100-acre facility which was established by HLL Bio-Tech Ltd in 2012 under the Union health ministry but final work is still pending. “They visited once a few years ago also. Today, they came to see the current status. Nothing has been finalised yet,” said an official of HLL.
The team had met Stalin at the secretariat on Thursday to discuss manufacturing of vaccines in Tamil Nadu. The move came in the backdrop of the Union government informing Tamil Nadu that it intends to bring in a partner on its own to operationalize the IVC. Stalin had previously written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking for the IVC to be handed over to the state on a lease so it can find a private operator and begin producing Covid-19 vaccines from the facility. The state had also sent two representatives to Delhi to speed up the matter.
After the Centre’s reply, Stalin reiterated his request and said whoever finds a player operations have to start at the earliest so it can facilitate mass production of vaccines which are currently facing a shortage. Meanwhile, HLL had invited tenders for private players to participate which has now closed. “We are in talks with interested companies,” the official quoted above said.
The Centre has invested around ₹700 crore for the IVC which is about 63 km from Chennai and has been lying unutilised for want of additional funds to complete the last stages of work.