Nizamabad: The TRS government is facing a litmus test in taking control of Nizam Sugars as the crushing season for 2015-16 is approaching. Hundreds of sugarcane farmers and workers of the factory are in a dilemma over the future of Nizam Sugars. Meanwhile, Opposition parties along with farmers and workers have intensified their agitation demanding takeover of the factory.
TRS promised during the general elections to take over Nizam Sugar factory from the private management within 100 days of coming to power. Agriculture minister, Pocharam Srinivas Reddy hinted that Nizam Sugars will be leased out to continue in the present crushing season, but it has not yet materialised.
The last crushing season started on December 7, 2014 and was completed on January 21 offering Rs 2,600 per tonne of sugarcane. To start the crushing season, the machinery should be overhauled at least a month before, but no work has been taken up so far. Neither the private management nor the government has taken the initiative for crushing till date. As a result, for the first time Nizam Sugars will face suspension of crushing in the last four decades.
It is expected that around 33,000 metric tonnes of sugarcane will be supplied for Shakkarnagar unit of Nizam Sugars in the present crushing season. Nizam Deccan Sugars Limited, a joint venture company of public-private partnership had already declared its inability for crushing. It withdrew field staff and did not make agreements with farmers on sugarcane supply.
Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, Nizam Sugars protection committee leaders said that TRS promised to take over the factory before elections but delayed it. The state government had sent a team of MLAs to neighbouring Maharashtra to study sugar factories and constituted a committee headed by the chief secretary but there is no progress, they said. The farmers are worrying about sugarcane supply as the factory has suspended the crushing season, they added.
Farmers and workers are eagerly awaiting the decision of the state government. Nizam Sugars has three units at Shakkarnagar at Bodhan in Nizamabad district, Metpally in Karimnagar district, Medak and a distillery at Bodhan. Opposition parties—the Congress, BJP and CPI (ML) New Democracy, is mounting pressure on the state government to declare the crushing season and the future of Nizam Sugars.
When contacted, Janaki Manohar, administrator of NDSL said that they had already told the government of suspension of crushing season for 2015-16. In view of incurring losses, the factory management is unable to run it in the present season.
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