Udupi: Disbursement of pending Rs 8.13 crore to workers and farmers of Brahmavar Sugar factory; attempt to resuscitation after the clearance of all the debts

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Udupi; Feb 09: The only one co-operative Brahmavar’s Dakshina Kannada co-operative Sugar factory in coastal Karnataka, after the decade of stopping crushing of sugar cane is getting ready to disburse pending loan of Rs 8.13 crore to farmers and workers through cheque tomorrow.

Due to heavy loss of the factory, stopped crushing sugar cane in 2004.The sugar factory, which closed in 2006, kept the payment of 3200 farmers amounting Rs 1.98 crore pending, who supplied sugar cane in the year 2002-2003 and 2003-04. Likewise the salary and other sundry amount of 215 employees amounting Rs 6.15 crore also kept pending since 2006.Due to the special efforts of former president of the factory and current union minister Oscar Fernandez and the present Udupi-Chikamagalure MP Jayaprakash Hegde, the present congress government in the state has released Rs 12 crore last month as soft loan being the first attempt of resuscitation.

Tomorrow first of all workers and farmers will be paid their pending loan from the Rs 12 crore, which government has released. The present management committee president H.Jayasheela Rao informed to ‘Vartha Bharathi’ that all the arrangements have been made in this regard. Now the amount of Rs 5.56 crore is pending to give different co-operative sanghas.Out of this Rs 4.56 crore various CA bank, Rs 66 lac DCC bank and Rs 35 lac to CA bank also included, explained Jayasheela Shetty.

Though government has sanctioned Rs 12 crore, in order to repay the debt still Rs 2 crore is needed. Once all these pending dues are cleared, we will think about the steps to be taken to resuscitate the factory, he said.

Through Varahi irrigation programme by supplying water to 38,500 acres of land and by growing sugar cane in 19,000 acres of land in view of supplying sugar to Brahmavar sugar factory, the plant was established in 1983 at the budget of Rs 90 crore. Due to Varahi irrigation programme’s failure from the beginning itself and due to other reasons factory failed to crush the sugar cane to its optimum capacity and was running at loss from the beginning. Though Union minister Oscar Fernandez and Jayaprakash Hegde, MP have become president of the factory to run the factory at profit but due to various reasons, that failed and finally they stopped the sugar cane crushing in 2004 and locked the factory in 2006.In between though Rs 500 crore has been spent on Varahi programme, project could not be completed yet. However the works of the Varahi programme has been taking place in progress for the last two years, hope to complete the works shortly.

All the farmers are willing to preserve, save the only one sugar factory in coastal region. In the surrounding area of Halady varahi water is flowing in the canals. This much water is not required for paddy. From this, sugar cane is cultivated, then only convenient. Therefore if the farmers wish to grow the sugar cane again, it will be beneficial, said Jayasheela Shetty.

Everybody in the coastal region honestly wish to retain this sugar factory. Government’s helping hand is needed for this. Future course of action about the factory is decided only after discussing with ministers, representatives and farmers.

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