INDORE: Usually the industry gets attracted by an offer of land at concessional rates and assurance of fast tracking of a project, but in case of this Hong Kong based company, the USP of Madhya Pradesh is availability of ‘pure water’.

The general perception that water of Ganges is the purest notwithstanding, the pharma company in its internal survey has found that among major rivers, water of Narmada is the purest and most appropriate for making medicines.

Based on the report, the company -- Balaji Steroids and Hormones Pvt Ltd -- plans to set up a unit in Pithampur in Dhar district near Indore with an estimated investment of Rs 2,000 crore. While all the pharmaceutical companies have to install reverse osmosis (RO) water filter on a compulsory basis, the long-term cost of filtering the water comes down when the water being fed is less impure.

Talking to HT, company director Sidharth Aildasani said, “Apart from Madhya Pradesh, we had conducted purity tests on different rivers in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra. We decided to set up the project in Pithampur after the tests showed that purity level of Narmada water was the highest. We plan to invest about Rs 2,000 crore in the project in a phase-wise manner.”

In March 2015, the state government agencies had taken remedial measures after getting rapped by the MP high court over discharge of effluents in Narmada in many districts. In August 2016, MP Pollution Control Board (MPPCB) categorized Narmada river water as ‘A’ category after conducting tests of water samples collected from 31 different locations.

“A number of steps have been taken in this regard, such as ensuring that there is no discharge from nullahs and doing regular monitoring in this regard,” said MPPCB regional manager Hemant Sharma.

At present, the industries in Pithampur get water supply from two big water reservoirs, but a project to supply Narmada water to Pithampur from a distance of 20 km is underway.

“Balaji has been allocated land in the pharma cluster of Pithampur. The company officials have cited availability of Narmada water as the main reason for setting up their unit here. Work is on in full swing to bring Narmada water to Pithampur, and the project is expected to be completed by mid 2018,” said Kumar Purushottam, managing director of Audyogik Kendra Vikas Nigam (AKVN), Indore, the state government’s nodal agency.