High Court revokes property registration of Bhajrang Jute Mill

June 17, 2015 12:00 am | Updated 05:46 am IST - GUNTUR:

The Bhajrang Jute Mill premises in Guntur.- Photo: T. Vijaya Kumar

The Bhajrang Jute Mill premises in Guntur.- Photo: T. Vijaya Kumar

Mill workers protesting against the arbitrary manner in which the management of Bhajrang Jute Mill entered into a property development agreement with a Hyderabad-based realty firm, had their first victory after the Stamps and Registration Department cancelled the registration of the property pending with the department.

The order was challenged by the Jute Mill management in the High Court, and in a directive on Tuesday, the HC directed the Department of Stamps and Registrations, Guntur, to complete the assessment of properties within two weeks and submit a report.

District Registrar K. Srinivasa Rao told The Hindu on Tuesday that the registration pending with the department had been cancelled after the land owner failed to furnish the exact details of the property, including property on the mill premises. The management quoted the value of the property spread over 7.79 acres in prime locality at Pattabhipuram at Rs. 35 crore after it assessed the market value at Rs. 12,000 per square yard, the prevailing market value.

“It is a moral victory for the mill workers, as they have been waging a spirited fight against the management. We will continue to press for the cancellation of the deal by the management against the wishes of the workers.

The struggle was being supported by all parties,’’ said Jute Mill protection committee president Lella Appireddy.

Leaders of various parties, including YSRCP, Congress, CPI and CPI (M) and other trade unions lent support to the protest. Former MLC K.S. Lakshmana Rao, who was also instrumental in mobilising support, said that this was a first victory for the workers.

The Bhajrang Jute Mill was started in the year 1935 and after a brief lock out period, was acquired by Davu Gopal Lunani and his family in 1994. The management promised 36 per cent of share to workers, while retaining 64 per cent, but the workers alleged that they have been never paid any share in the profit.

Over the years, the mill scaled up the production to 65 tonnes in spite of rising production costs and shortage of labour.

Eye brows were raised when the management sold 5.28 acres housing the residential quarters of the managers adjacent to the mill to a Hyderabad based real estate firm in July 2014. Recently, the management entered into development agreement with the same real estate firm, Aditya Infra to develop 7.79 acres housing the Jute Mill, godowns and offices.

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