ANDHRA PRADESH

Crushing from today at Kadapa Co-op Sugars

Staff Reporter

Outdated equipment has been replaced, says Collector

Unit crushed 14,458 tonnes of cane during Feb-March last year Rs. 14 crores invested on the factory since last year

KADAPA: Kadapa Cooperative Sugars Ltd. at Chennur will begin crushing of sugarcane from January 17 and will crush 1,000 tonnes of cane per day, the highest capacity ever since its inception in 1973.

The factory has been modernised with Rs. 5 crores allotted by the State Government. The outdated equipment and batch centrifugal machinery has been replaced with four continuous centrifugal machines, Collector M.T. Krishna Babu has said. Cane seed was supplied to farmers with Rs. 2 crores more granted by the Government, he said.

The Government extended Rs. 6.66 crores last year to the sugar factory, including Rs. 3 crores for modernisation and Rs. 3.66 crores towards one-time settlement of dues to IDBI, IFCI, ICICI and LIC.

The factory crushed 14,458 tonnes of sugarcane from February 13 to March 25 last year and produced 7,582 bags of sugar, with an average recovery of 7.82 per cent, the lowest recovery rate in the country.

Talks with YSR

Heavy Engineering Corporation, Pune, has completed repairs on priority basis following Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy's discussions with Maharashtra Chief Minister Sharad Pawar, the Collector has said. Some 1.20 lakh tonnes of cane grown in 4,000 acres of registered ayacut is available for crushing. Farmers who have raised sugarcane in 1,000 more acres of unregistered ayacut are also ready to supply cane, he says.

Slow-firing process has begun and trial run of the factory had commenced. Deputy DE of Etikoppaka Sugar Factory has joined as in-charge CE of Kadapa Sugars on deputation. Cane price of Rs. 950 per tonne and Rs. 50 to Rs. 100 towards transport costs, depending on distance, will be paid to farmers as against Rs. 900 per tonne paid last year, the Collector says. The cane price may be hiked if sugar prices increase on account of lifting ban on export of sugar, he hopes.

Drip irrigation

Drip irrigation will be promoted in 1.05 lakh acres in kharif season with 60 per cent Government subsidy and 40 per cent bank loans with Government guarantee, Mr. Krishna Babu states. The factory incurred accumulated losses of Rs. 16.50 crores by 1995, when its properties were taken over by IDBI on Mumbai High Court's orders. A sum of Rs. 14 crores has been invested on the factory since last year, with no returns, he said.

Pay revision

Proposals have been forwarded to the Government to consider employees' demand for revised pay scales of 1995. Gratuity of deceased employees has been cleared and that of retired employees being processed.

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