Kasauli’s Central Research Institute to be restructured

June 4th, 2008 - 8:57 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Anbumani Ramadoss

Shimla, June 4 (IANS) The central government has finally agreed to restructure the 102-year-old Central Research Institute at Kasauli town in Himachal Pradesh that was manufacturing vaccines against several diseases. An assurance to this was given by union Health and Family Welfare Minister Anbumani Ramadoss to Himachal Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, officials said here Wednesday.

Ramadoss has assured Dhumal that an expert committee would shortly visit the institute to evaluate its working. The experts would also examine the possibilities of expansion of the research institute so that its employees could be gainfully employed, said the officials.

The fate of more than 700 employees has been hanging in balance since the suspension of vaccine production licence by the National Regulatory Authority. The licence has been cancelled because the century-old institute was not meeting the goods manufacturing practice requirements as per World Health Organisation’s norms.

The health ministry is also considering the possibility of training employees to upgrade their professional skills, the officials said.

The institute had been manufacturing vaccines like anti-rabies, diphtheria, measles, typhoid and tetanus.

The state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government and opposition Congress have been both urging the central government from time to time to allow the institute to restart production in the interests of the hill state.

Karam Das, a former lab technician with the institute, told IANS: “It is good news that the central government had agreed to restructure the institute.”

Karam Das, who served the institute for 43 years, is the convener of the Kasauli-based joint platform action committee which has been spearheading a campaign to allow the institute to restart vaccine production. The committee has former employees of the institute and local residents.

Krishna Murthi, general secretary, Beopar Mandal, Kasauli, said: “Their fate (traders) depends upon the institute. If it is shifted or closed, their business would be affected.”

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