In an interview to The Indian Express, BJP Pimpri-Chinchwad president Mahesh Landge, MLA, says discussions with PMC is underway on floating global tenders for procuring vaccines directly. Landge says Hindustan Antiobiotics Ltd has been asked to submit a detailed proposal as to how they plan to manufacture the vaccine.
What is happening PCMC and PMC’s plan to float joint tenders to purchase vaccines directly? Has the plan been dropped?
No, we have not dropped the plan as yet. Our discussions are underway with PMC. Since there has been good response to the global tenders floated by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, we are also encouraged to float a joint tender. Nothing has been finalised yet. We will take a call in our next meeting.
At what stage is the permission to Hindustan Antibiotics Ltd to manufacture vaccines?
Just today, we have held a zoom meeting where Union Minister of State for Fertiliser and Chemicals, HA managing director and BJP MP Manoj Kotak, who is the president of HA Mazdoor Sangh, were present. The minister has asked HA to submit a detailed plan for manufacture of vaccine and their requirement. HA had earlier sought permission to manufacture the vaccine. During the discussion, we also urged the minister to grant permission to HA to manufacture for children. We have asked HA to submit a joint plan.
How much money is HA seeking from PCMC?
HA has been ailing for quite a while. It is struggling to even pay salaries to the employees. HA has said that it needs to be have a new set up for manufacturing the vaccine and will therefore need at least Rs 20 crore.
When HA makes the vaccines, it will not be only for Pimpri-Chinchwad. Your comment.
True. That’s why we have told them to sign an agreement to the effect that they will give top priority to Pimpri-Chinchwad. Once Pimpri-Chinchwad vaccination is done, they can supply it to other cities. HA has plans to produce 5 lakh vaccines. But this will take at least four months. That is why we are going for the joint global tender.
How much time do you think it will take to get permission from the Centre for HA to manufacture the vaccine? Do you think it would be wise of former chief minister and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis to directly meet the Prime Minister and put forward a request?
The way the Union Minister spoke today. I don’t think it will take long to get the Centre’s permission. If there is any delay, we will again ask the former CM to pursue the matter with the Centre and the Prime Minister. In fact, he has promised that he will pursue the matter with the Centre.
You spoke in favour of home isolation after the state government dropped the plan in 18 district?
Yes, if 80 per cent of the patients are asymptomatic, what is the point of admitting them in the hospital? People fear hospital. They recuperate at home better, especially, if they have mild symptoms or are asympotamatic.
Why is PCMC against opening vaccination centres in housing societies?
I have spoken to the municipal commissioner about granting permission to housing societies for vaccination centres. But the commissioner said unless the state government gives permission, PCMC cannot decide on its own.