Andhra Pradesh

Farmers to step up pressure for revival of sugar factory

A view of the closed sugar factory in Amadalavalasa of Srikakulam district.

A view of the closed sugar factory in Amadalavalasa of Srikakulam district.  

Oppn. backs ryots; TDP leaders to take up Amadalavalasa unit issue with CM

Hundreds of farmers are likely to step up pressure on the State government for the immediate revival of the Amadalavalasa sugar factory which was closed in 2003.

Various political parties, including members of the ruling Telugu Desam Party, backed the movement and said its reopening would ensure livelihood for many workers and create a lot of economic activity in 15 mandals. The farmers planned to organise a meeting in the first week of November in Amadalavasala to seek government’s financial assistance to clear debts and create a fund for the revival of the lone agro-based industry in Srikakulam district.

Sold to private firm

The cooperative sugar factory was sold to a private company in 2003 for Rs. 8 crore after it reported an accumulated loss of Rs. 30 crore. However, the local farmers approached the court claiming that the government had no right to sell the property to a private company since it was constructed with the share capital of farmers. Recently, the High Court had given a ruling in favour of the farmers. While the farmers and local public representatives hoped that the government would take steps for the revival of the cooperative unit, the government indicated plans for establishment of multi-purpose industries in the 70 acres by handing it over to the Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC).

Farmers reluctant: TD leader

Reacting to the development, Amadalavalasa local MLA and whip Kuna Ravikumar told The Hindu that the farmers were against the establishment of other industries in the land.

“We will meet Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu again to explain the local people’s feelings and the benefits that would accrue with the agro-based industries in the district. I hope the government would revive the factory to stimulate economic activity while at the same time benefit the sugarecane growers,” he said.

Opposition demand

Former Minister Tammineni Sitharam challenged the government to a public debate over the issue, alleging that the then TDP government was instrumental for the closure of the factory. “The government appointed a Cabinet committee in 2003 when the sugar factory reported huge losses. As a member of the committee, I opposed its closure. Now it is time for its revival,” he added.

PCC State spokesperson Ratnala Narasimha Murthy alleged that the government wanted to benefit industrialists instead of local farmers and workers.

“Amadalavalasa sugar factory is the lone agro-based company in the district and the government should provide financial assistance for its reopening since it has been the dream of many people. It can benefit farmers in 15 mandals of the district,” he added.

Leaders of the YSRC, Lok Satta and representatives of farmers associations have organised several meetings over the issue recently.

Blaming the government’s policy for losses and closure of the unit, they felt that an agitational programme should be undertaken cutting across party lines for the revival of the factory.

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Printable version | Mar 31, 2020 3:55:41 PM |

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