Farmers can bank on Brahmavar Sugars revival

Construction of VLBC will happen within next four to six months

June 09, 2014 11:39 am | Updated May 23, 2016 06:53 pm IST - Udupi:

Construction of Varahi Left Bank Canal has been completed upto 26 km

Construction of Varahi Left Bank Canal has been completed upto 26 km

Farmers in Udupi can look forward to the revival of the ailing Brahmavar Cooperative Sugar Factory, after receiving assurances that the construction of the Varahi Left Bank Canal (VLBC) upto the 30th kilometre will finish within the next four to six months.

The total length of the VLBC is 44.35 km. Its construction had been completed up to the 26th km and work was under progress for the next four kilometres.

The construction of the remaining 14.35 km would be taken up after land acquisition.

Major and Minor Irrigation Minister M.B. Patil, who visited the Varahi Irrigation Dam site on April 30, made the assurances to the farmers.

Brahmavar Sugar Factory, established in 1985, stopped crushing cane due to mounting losses in 2004.

The factory was established on the premise that the Varahi Irrigation Project, when commissioned, would provide irrigation to a minimum of 12,000 acres of land in Udupi district, which would help in the production of sugarcane.

This cane would be supplied to the factory, helping it to make a profit.

Though the foundation stone for the factory and the Varahi Irrigation Project was laid at the same time in 1980, the former started operations in 1985, while the latter was still under construction.

According to M. Jayasheela Shetty, Chairman of the Brahmavar Cooperative Sugar Factory, the completion of work up to the 30th km of VLBC would provide irrigation to nearly 10,000 acres of land in Shiriyar, Yedthady, Kedur, Belur, Molahalli, Hombady-Mandady, Kalavar and Japti villages.

“The VLBC with its distributaries will provide farmers with water supply water round the year and encourage them to grow sugarcane,” he said.

The crushing capacity of the Brahmavar Sugar Factory is 1,250 tonnes per day. A tonne of sugarcane, when crushed yields approximately 90 kgs of sugar.

Farmers of the district were of the opinion that cultivation of sugarcane was more profitable than that of paddy. Mr. Shetty, who himself grew sugarcane on three acres of field from 1990 to 2004, said, “Cultivation of sugarcane, which is a commercial crop, is several times better than that of paddy. Since the cane would be cultivated within a 25 km radius of the factory, the transportation costs too will be meagre,” he said.

B. Ramakrishna Sharma, president of Udupi Zilla Krishik Sangha, said that farmers were always ready to cultivate sugarcane because it was more profitable. They could get Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 2,200 per tonne of cane.

“The factory must be revived. We only want prompt payment of dues from the factory. Since water levels go down during summer, irrigation pumpsets are of little use. But the VLBC will ensure water supply to cane fields even during summer,” he said.

The factory management plans to hold a meeting with the farmers to decide the future of the factory. The date for the meeting would be decided on June 6, Mr. Shetty said.

The construction of the Varahi Right Bank Canal (VRBC) and Varahi Lift Canal (VLC) are expected to take two years. When the VLBC, VRBC and VLC are completed, they would provide irrigation to 15,702 hectares of land in the district.

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