Citing the affirmative response from the Directorate of Sugar, cane growers have expressed hope that the NPKRR Cooperative Sugar Mill in Mayiladuthurai district, where crushing was discontinued since 2016 due to apparent technical issues in production process, would be revived soon.
About 2,800 sugar cane growers have been diverting their produce to the mills in Thanjavur and Cuddalore districts since then.
In the meantime, the Tamil Nadu Karumbu Vyavasayigal Sangam had moved the High Court seeking a direction to the Director of Sugar and Cane Commissioner for revival of production.
During 2021, the High Court had taken a stand that the issue pertains to matters of policy and economic considerations, and that the viability of the mill, the future prospects, environmental considerations and many other factors go into the decision-making process.
Last August, the Assembly Committee on Estimate, visited the Mill, based on the announcement made by the Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare M.R.K. Panneerselvam in the Assembly that the possibility of resuming the operation of the sugar mill will be examined.
The reasoning of the State Government so far for closure of the mill since the 2016-17 crushing season has been less availability of cane. However, farmers’ associations have accouunted for cultivation of sugarcane in 10,000 acres in the region, with an output of seven lakh tonnes per year in Mayiladuthurai, Nagapattinam and Thanjavur districts.
As per government records, the sugar mill has a capacity to manufacture 10,500 tonnes of sugar per month, in addition to 4,500 tonnes of filter cake, 3,000 tonnes of molasses and 30,000 tonnes of bagasse.
According to the Managing Director of NPKRR Cooperative Sugar Mill, Satheesh, the process for revival of the mill was on. The technical committee has forwarded a proposal for complete revamp of the machinery for revival of the production process.
The acceptance of the proposal of the technical committee for revamp of the mill was communicated to farmers in Mayiladuthurai district last month by the Directorate of Sugar, sources said.