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Employees of NGEF seek its revival

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Land of plenty:The campus of NGEF which is considered prime land in Bangalore.
Land of plenty:The campus of NGEF which is considered prime land in Bangalore.

Sharath S. Srivatsa and B.S. Ramesh

No need for liquidation, auctioning of land, plead employees

Liquidation process under way

It is viable to revive transformer division, say employees

BANGALORE: The employees of the New Government Electric Factory (NGEF) on Old Madras Road, which is going through the process of liquidation, have urged for the revival of the factory even as the Government completed the survey work of NGEF land recently.

The NGEF land should not become a real estate project, they added.

The survey of land had been taken up on the direction of the High Court, as the KSRTC, the BMTC and the BMRCL have sought 53 acres of the sprawling 240-acre factory campus.

While BMRCL has already been allowed to construct its depot, the KSRTC and the BMTC have sought land for inter-nodal bus service.

The Government has also set up a special purpose vehicle to enter into partnership with individuals and organisations for exploiting the real estate potential of the remaining parcel of land.

“Precious machinery is being wasted on the premises. The transformer division can be revived as per the revival package proposed by the State Government, which was, however, not approved by the Centre in 2008,” V. Keshavalu, one of the 122 employees of NGEF, told The Hindu.

He said the Government has repaid the liabilities to all the debtors, and there was no need for liquidation or auctioning of the land.

“The transformer division will still have a big market,” he claimed, and added that the precious NGEF land should not be converted into real estate projects.

The NGEF, which was started in 1956, had six divisions — transformer, motors, switchgear, power electronics, semi conductor devices and mechanical engineering — which closed down in 2002 after incurring losses.

While about 1,800 employees availed of the voluntary retirement scheme (VRS), 122 refused VRS.

Real estate interest

Many developers have their eyes set on the prime property as it comes in one big parcel. Though in 2005, 143.48 acres of land had been auctioned to a developer at the cost of Rs. 1,599 crore, it was later stalled after the Government indicated its intention of reviving the factory.

Meanwhile, seeking the revival of the factory, the Yelahanka MLA S.R. Vishwanath has urged the Government to protect the valuable property from the builders.

In a letter to Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, a copy of which is in possession of The Hindu, he said: “It should also be enquired if any of the officials are helping the developers to part with the NGEF land.”

The matter of reviving the factory should be brought before the Cabinet immediately, and money to restart the factory is available since BMRCL, KSRTC and BMTC have deposited money towards 53 acres, he pointed out.

Mr. Vishwanath has urged the Government to approach the High Court against the auctioning of land by the official liquidator.

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