December 15, 2022: A long-running legal bid seeking to close some of Amara Raja Batteries’ manufacturing plants has been further delayed into a second year, the company confirmed on December 6.
The Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board had originally issued closure orders in 2021 for the lead battery group’s plants at Karakambadi, Tirupati and Nunegundlapalli, in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh state, citing allegations relating to environmental regulations.
However, Amara Raja said in its December 6 regulatory update that the Andhra Pradesh High Court had granted the company a fresh extension of an interim suspension of orders, with the next hearing into the matter scheduled for January 18, 2023.
Company secretary Vikas Sabharwal said: “The company has always placed the highest priority on the environment, health and safety of its workforce and communities around it.”
The High Court has suspended the closure orders at a number of hearings since early 2021, amid warnings from Amara Raja that closures of any of its facilities could have a ‘calamitous’ impact — not least on back-up power supplies for India’s hospitals and other essential services.
Amara Raja chairman and MD Jayadev Galla said in July that the company was looking into the possibility of expansion through greenfield investments or acquisitions for its lead battery business in the Indian-Ocean rim.