KERALA

Move to shift Apollo Tyres unit from Kalamassery

Staff Reporter

Shifting to be done in phases within a year

KOCHI: The Rubber Park at Irapuram, a government-promoted industrial park near Perumbavoor in Ernakulam district, will have a new addition soon. The Kalamassery-based tyre-manufacturing unit of PTL Enterprises Ltd., formerly Premier Tyres Ltd., belonging to Apollo Tyres Ltd., will be shifted to the park.

The shifting is to be done in phases within a year, says Onkar S. Kanwar, chairman of Apollo Tyres Ltd. The groundbreaking ceremony on the 9.2-hectare site, about 20 km from Kalamassery, was held on Friday.

Mr. Kanwar said at a press conference in Kochi that the move would enable the company to induct new technology and increase employment opportunity. The current production of 90 tonnes a day would go up to 200 tonnes once the plant was commissioned at the new location.

He met the trade union leaders and assured them of no loss of jobs. The project, envisaging an investment of Rs.175 crore, could generate fresh employment opportunity. The Kalamassery unit employed 1,300 people now.

The relocation would create space within the city limits for infrastructure projects. The augmented production at the new unit was expected to provide enhanced annual revenue by way of tax and duty to the government from the current average of Rs. 45 crore to Rs. 100 crore.

Mr. Kanwar hinted at developing tourism or IT projects on vacated land in Kalamassery. The company was already in the process of setting up an Ayurvedic and rehabilitation centre for the aged on a nearby site owned by the company.

Mr. Kanwar said Kerala was witnessing a positive change in attitude towards entrepreneurship. He lauded the industrial policy of the State government.

Unions oppose move

The various unions in the Apollo Tyres on Saturday opposed the move by the management to shift the factory from Kalamassery to Irapuram. Addressing a press conference, the union leaders, including K. Babu, MLA, and K.N. Ravindranath, said the unions suspected some ulterior motive behind the decision of the management. They said the management had earlier declared that expansion of the factory would not be possible in the 36 acres of the factory land at Kalamassery.

But now the management wanted the factory to be shifted to Irapuram where the company had only 25 acres of land.

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