Budhlada sugar mill dismantled | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Budhlada sugar mill dismantled

The Budhlada sugar mill, closed since 1994, is being dismantled and the sugarcane farmers have finally lost even the little hope that their crop could be locally processed. Lakshmi trading company has been given the contract to scavenge the facility.

punjab Updated: Aug 07, 2013 22:06 IST
HT Correspondent

The Budhlada sugar mill, closed since 1994, is being dismantled and the sugarcane farmers have finally lost even the little hope that their crop could be locally processed. Lakshmi trading company has been given the contract to scavenge the facility.

The co-operative sugar mill, spread in 125 acres, was established in 1990 at a cost of Rs 25 crore, but was closed after being run successfully for over four years. Huge losses have led to its final collapse. It was running into losses of Rs 56 crore.

The closure of the mill has left 397 employees - including 232 permanent and 165 seasonal permanent unemployed. More than 20 employees are from Mansa. The machinery worth lakhs in the mill will be sent to Nepal for dismantling.

The closure is a blow to the diversification plan of the Mansa agriculture department, which had distributed free seeds to number of farmers in a few villages of Mansa to boost sugarcane crop.

Before the final decision was taken, former workers of the mill who had sold their land to get a job in the facility had their kin had protested for over 700 days demanding back their land or the restart of the mill.

BKU Dakonda farmer leader Buta Singh said, "Before setting up the mill, the government promised farmers that the land would not be sold and jobs would be assured to the land sellers and their kin. The government has now gone back on its promise and the land has been sold to PUDA, where colonies would be cut. The farmers sold the land at very low prices. The government claims to work to boost crop diversification, while it is selling the government-run industry."