Udupi,(DHNS): With the Chief Minister’s recent statement that the government was ready to revive the Brahmavar Cooperative Sugar Factory if farmers were ready to grow sugarcane, the factory management would take stock of the situation here on Friday, while the farmers too are keen on its revival.
It may be recalled that the foundation stone for the Brahmavar Cooperative Sugar Factory and the Varahi Irrigation Project was laid on the same day in 1980. The intention was that the farmers would grow sugarcane from water provided by Varahi project and supply it to the factory. While the factory started functioning in 1985, works on the Varahi project progressed at a snail’s pace.
In fact the work on Varahi project caught some speed in 2004, when the factory shut down amidst mounting losses. The First Phase of the Varahi Project, inaugurated in 2015, provided irrigation facilities to about 3,000 hectares of land. When completed, the project would provide irrigation to 15,702 hectares covering 68 villages in Brahmavar, Kundapur and Byndoor taluks in the district.
Meanwhile, the factory management has already got a Techno-Economical Feasibility Report prepared for the factory’s revival from a Pune-based private agency. The report stated that an amount of Rs 30 crore would be required for trouble free running of the factory after replacing its obsolete machinery.
Molahalli Jayasheela Shetty, chairman, Board of Directors of the factory, said it would hold a meeting in Brahmavar on September 21, where the course of action would be decided after consulting stakeholders.
“Mr. Kumaraswamy is committed to reviving the factory. If the government provides Rs 30 crore, it is fine. But if it cannot provide funds, we can even think of selling 10 to 12 acres of its land to raise the Rs 30 crore,” he said.
According to the factory estimates, presently, water from the Varahi project is reaching nearly 15,000 acres of land. The Varahi Lift Irrigation Scheme, which will take off soon, is expected to provide irrigation facilities to another 8,000 acres of land. “We will place all the facts before the farmers on the factory’s revival. We will help them in providing sugarcane seeds after the meeting,” Mr. Shetty said.
Prompt payment sought
Satyanarayana Udupa Japti, secretary, district unit, Bharatiya Kisan Sangh, told The Hindu that a few years ago, around 4,000 farmers had given a written commitment to the factory that they would grow cane on about 7,500 acres of land. “While the farmers are ready to cultivate sugarcane, they want prompt payment from the factory for the cane supplied given their past experiences of delayed payments. We are ready to start cultivating cane from April-May 2019,” he said.
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