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Proposed Guwahati Police Commissionarate building violates bio-safety norms

Institute of Veterinary Biologicals, Khanapara
Image credit: Mrignaka S Pathak

Almost a year back, in the month of May 2020, a plot of land measuring three bighas was handed over to the department of Disaster Management for construction of office of the Commissioner of Police (Guwahati city). This plot of land is a part of the Institute of Veterinary Biologicals, Khanapara.
Speaking to Headline 8, a high level official of the Institute of Veterinary Biologicals, Khanapara expressed concern about the construction of the new building at the institute site.
As per information provided, the laboratory of the institute is in the process of transformation for renovation as per the GMP norms.
The construction of the new office of the Commissioner of Police can be considered as a huge threat to the institute. As per the GMP norms, the proposed colossal construction at the premises of the vaccine production laboratory contradicts the bio-safety norms.

There are many past examples of such threat, for example –
The Wuhan and some other lab stations in China, where WHO has specifically mentioned that the Novel Coronavirus outbreak is nothing but leakage from the laboratory from Wuhan.
Another incident took place in North China in an animal vaccination centre where the Brucella vaccine leakage occurred from the laboratory. This leakage infected about 10,000 human beings.
Another such recent havoc is the spread of African Swine fever. This virus has now spread from Arunachal Pradesh/ Assam to other neighbouring states of the North Eastern region. The origin of this exotic disease in Asian region can be traced back to China.

From an initial investigation by the Headline 8 team, it has been found that the institute in Khanapara is producing Anthrax Spore vaccines along with Hemorrhagic Septicemia (HS) vaccines, Black Quarter (BQ) vaccines.
These are some important vaccines. The Anthrax Spore vaccine specifically is very fatal since it can cause infection to humans (Zoonotic disease).
Along with the production of vaccines, there is a capacity for storage of different vaccines in the institute.

It is against the bio-safety norms, as no huge construction with human crowd accumulation is allowed.
The vaccine laboratory in Khanapara will face many hazards and threats due to the construction of the proposed office of the Commissioner of Police.
Radiation hazard might also impact on the vaccine seeds preservation procedure in the institute.
Considering all these aspects, the proposed new building will pose threat and vulnerability for laboratory workers as well as production of vaccines.
Also as per GMP norms, there should be ample space in the premises where the laboratory is situated.
Moreover , considering the proximity of the Advanced Animal Disease Diagnosis and Management Consortium (ADMaC) laboratory and the North Eastern Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, the construction of the Police Commissioner office will be vulnerable to all the three departments and laboratories.

ADMaC office
Image credit: Mriganka S Pathak

The Institute of Veterinary Biologicals, Khanapara was established in 1983.
This institute has been producing seven most important vaccines for livestock and poultry. It is the only institute in the entire North East region for production of vaccines. There are only 12 such institutions across the whole country in the public sector.

The vaccines produced in the Institute of Veterinary Biologicals, Khanapara are extremely important for protection of animals and birds against many prime diseases prevalent in the North East India region.
The vaccines are supplied to many entrepreneurs and NGOs at free of cost.
Considering the value of livestock assets in the state as a whole, the institute is very crucial for protection of livestocks against diseases thereby contributing in the production of livestock products.

The institute has two sections of lab –
Bacterial
Viral
Considering the site of this establishment, it is evident that it requires to be free from human count, pollution and contamination.
As per the GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) norms, the institute needs to be renovated for its compliances. This is for better quality products and bio-security.
Bio-security is one of the most crucial parts of vaccine production in the institution’s laboratory.
Government of India (GoI) has already recommended for renovation of the institute complying the GMP norms and other standards.
As per information received, the Institute of Veterinary Biologicals, Khanapara has already approached Government of Assam (GoA) for required funds for preparation of ground reports and preparation of DPR (Detailed Project Report).

What do you think?

Written by Mriganka Pathak

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