Much to the relief of residents of this industrial city reeling under the problem of pollution, the process to shift the Panipat cooperative sugar mill has finally begun.
Official sources said that the mill would be shifted to Dahar village, located on the outskirts of the city on Gohana road.
Last week, 70-acre land was registered in the name of the sugar mill. The land was purchased from the Dahar village panchayat.
According to the official sources, it would be a turn-key project wherein a contractor would develop the mill completely from construction to installing machinery.
CM TO LAY STONE SOON
"Chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar will be soon invited to lay the foundation stone of the project. It is planned that after due procedural approval of the state government, the new sugar mill is expected to be operational within two years," the source said.
Established in 1956, the sugar mill had a processing capacity of 1,800 tonne crushing per day (TCD). It was set up at an isolated period but with the passage of time, several residential areas developed around the sugar mill.
The present location of the mill is near the national highway-1 and the Panipat-Rohtak road aggravated traffic chaos in the congested Panipat city.
The shifting of the sugar factory away from the residential areas remained a key issue in the past three assembly elections, but nothing conclusive was done.
FOUL SMELL, ASH TROUBLES RESIDENTS
Foul smell and ash emitted from the fuel used in the mill boilers have been proving to be irritants for the residents of nearly half-a-dozen colonies, including Sanjay Colony, Nand Vihar and a part of Model Town.
Official sources said that the machinery of the mill established 59 years ago has become obsolete and the mill was suffering losses for the past many years.
"Apart from the local population's demand for shiting the mill, Sugarfed also wanted to install a new mill to make profit.
However, due to the lack of political will, sincere efforts were not made by the previous governments to shift the mill to a bigger space," said an official.
Earlier, there was a proposal to shift the mill to Chhajpur village, but it was shelved after farmers demanded that new mill should not be at a far-off place.
HUDA TO SELL MILL LAND
According to the district officials, the existing land of the sugar mill will be exploited commercially by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA).
"There is an immense scope of developing residential or commercial projects at the sugar factory site. Also, the area could be used for recreational or entertainment activities," said an official.