Bommai promises to revive ailingBrahmavar sugar factory

The Hindu

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 Minister says it can be revived only by leasing it out to a private party

Home Minister and Udupi District in-charge Minister Basavaraj Bommai has said that he would put in his efforts for the revival of the ailing Brahmavar Cooperative Sugar Factory, which closed down in 2004 due to mounting losses.

According to a press release issued by the factory here on Friday, Mr. Bommai was speaking to a delegation of factory board and farmers representatives led by K. Raghupati Bhat, MLA, during his recent visit to the factory premises at Brahmavar in Udupi district.

Mr. Bommai said that the factory was unlikely to become profitable merely by crushing sugarcane. It would have to produce ethanol also along with crushing sugarcane. But setting up an ethanol unit required a lot of money.

It was unlikely that the government would provide such a huge amount. Since the factory was located on National Highway 66, it would be possible to lease it out to a private party and thus revived, Mr. Bommai said.

Earlier, Mr. Bhat urged Mr. Bommai to put pressure on the State government and get financial help to revive the ailing factory. He said that the revival of the factory would help a large number of farmers of both Udupi and Dakshina Kannada districts. It would also generate employment for workers in the factory, he said.

Chairman of the factory Jayasheela Shetty, who submitted a memorandum to Mr. Bommai, said that with the implementation of the first phase of the Varahi Irrigation Project in Udupi district, water was now flowing into the fields of farmers.

The farmers were ready to cultivate sugarcane as it was more profitable. But if the factory was not revived, the economic condition of farmers was likely to deteriorate as, then, they would have to depend on traditional crops such as paddy, he said.

Besides, the water flowing in their fields from the irrigation channels of Varahi project too would be rendered useless. The revival of the factory was in the interests of farmers of Udupi district, Mr. Shetty said.

Karkala MLA V. Sunil Kumar, the former president of the Udupi Zilla Panchayat Bhujanga Shetty, secretary of the district unit of Bharatiya Kisan Sangha Satyanarayana Udupa Japti and others were present.

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