Workers and farmers in a fix over closure of Pondicherry sugar mill

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Puducherry: The future of around 350 workers is in doldrums after the closure of Pondicherry sugar mill. The management stopped operations since 2017 owing to a loss of Rs 150 crore. The workers were without salary from 37 months.

Sankaralingam, a retired employee and a resident of Kombakkam said they were getting Rs 27000 to Rs 30000 per month. Sankaralongam who retired in 2018 is yet to get retire benefits.

V. Shankar, secretary of Pondicherry Farmers’ Forum, said the farmers are at a loss as the mill has stopped working. He alleged, now farmers are forced to sell cane to private millers nearby. These mills pay less to farmers than what we used to get from the closed mill.

S. Ramamurthy, president of Pondicherry Farmers’ Association held mismanagement responsible for the present condition of the mill. He claims, ten years ago, the mill used to crush 3.25 tonnes of sugarcane every year. When it was closed in 2017, the quantum of sugar cane crushed came to around 60,000 tonnes.

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