Express News Service
BENGALURU: Despite a nod from the state government, and directive from the Centre last week to fast-track the manufacture of alcohol-based hand sanitiser, the Karnataka Brewers and Distillers Association (KBDA) has hit a series of roadblocks for the much-needed disinfectant to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus. There is an acute shortage of hand sanitiser in the market.
“The KBDA is unable to procure raw material, like gels and glycerine, because of the lockdown,” said KBDA president Arun Kumar Parasa. He added that with curfew in place, they have to get official permission for their drivers and staff to come to work. “There is a series of permissions that we need before we start manufacturing hand sanitiser. The state government is proactively involved in granting necessary permissions. We are awaiting drug licence for hand sanitiser,” he said. Parasa added that if the licence comes through on Tuesday, they should come out with the first batch of hand sanitiser by Friday.
“We are planning to manufacture 20,000 litres of the disinfectant as part of our corporate social responsibility (CSR). The hand sanitiser will have 70 per cent alcohol, as per WHO guidelines, and will be supplied to the state government and hospitals,” he said. The District Collector is the nodal officer for the district, and supplies will be routed through him. “We are also prepared to sell hand sanitiser at subsidised price in the local market, but we don’t have authorisation for this,” said Parasa. One of the main reasons behind the shortage of hand sanitiser in the country is that the main raw material — isopropyl alcohol — is not available as one of its main manufacturing units is shut for annual maintenance, he said. Isopropyl is industrial alcohol. Meanwhile, the prisons department is in the process of supplying 17,000 surgical masks to the police department and BWSSB, said DGP and DG, Prisons, Alok Mohan. Convicts at Bengaluru Central Prison are currently working on making masks.
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