Madurai: Sugarcane farmers demand revival of closed sugar mill

Madurai: Sugarcane farmers staged a demonstration outside the Madurai collector’s office on Tuesday, calling on the state government to revive the National Cooperative Sugar Mills in Alanganallur, which ceased operations three years ago, reported The Times of India.

Represented by the Tamil Nadu Sugarcane Farmers Association, the farmers have persistently pressed the government to reinstate the mill that previously serviced nearly all sugarcane cultivation in the district. Agriculture Minister M R K Panneerselvam, addressing the assembly, had committed to resuming operations during the fiscal year 2022–23. An expert committee, entrusted with evaluating the revival process, estimated a financial requirement of Rs 27 crore for this endeavor.

This sum includes Rs 10 crore designated for the comprehensive overhaul of machinery and an additional Rs 17 crore to settle outstanding salary dues owed to mill workers. N Palaniswami, the president of the association, emphasized their plea for the immediate release of Rs 10 crore in the initial phase, ensuring preparedness of the machinery.

Despite persistent protests, the government has not met its demand, resulting in the continued closure of the sugar mills for the fourth consecutive year. Palaniswami urged the state government to expedite the restart process, underscoring the importance of safeguarding the livelihoods of sugarcane farmers.


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