Crumbling sugar mills
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Home / India News / 2007 / May 2007 / May 18, 2007
Crumbling sugar mills in UP burden exchequer 440 million rupees
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Crumbling sugar mills in UP burden exchequer 440 million rupees

The Uttar Pradesh Government has incurred a loss of over 440 million rupees, as four state-run sugar mills here, built in pre-independence era, were shut down and seven are in deplorable conditions, due to obsolete machinery.

Gorakhpur, (UP) May 18 : The Uttar Pradesh Government has incurred a loss of over 440 million rupees, as four state-run sugar mills here, built in pre-independence era, were shut down and seven are in deplorable conditions, due to obsolete machinery.

The mills were giving negative returns and were not even able to recover the cost of inputs for the last several years.

During the fiscal year, 2006-07, the mills bought sugarcane worth over 680 million rupees and the recovery from sale of sugar was only 480 million rupees.

"The economic condition of the sugar mills is very bad because the technology and plants are obsolete. The cost of production is more but the recovery is less. Large quantity of sugarcane is produced here; the condition will improve if new plants are installed," said C. P. Gupta, General Manager, UP State Sugar and Sugarcane Development Authority, Gorakhpur.

The State Government is reluctant to shut down the mills, as over ten thousand workers depend on these mills for their living.

Meanwhile, the workers have been demanding a restructuring of the mills, and said that working in these mills involves great risk as the machinery often breaks down or suffers from some technical default or other.

"The biggest problem faced by the workers today is that the machines used can breakdown anytime. The building is also not in good condition. The workers also do not get the facilities properly," said Ravi Shankar Singh, President, Purvanchal Sugar Mills Workers' Union.

The seven operating mills have a cumulative debt of over 430 million rupees, to be paid to farmers against sugarcane and the workers' wage bill.

ANI

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