DEOLALI CAMP: Nashik Cooperative Sugar Factory is a lifeline for many farmers of the area and surrounding villages. It should reopen as soon as possible, as the sugarcane growers are ready with their produce.They have warned that if miscreants continue to delay its reopening due to personal political gains, the farmers won’t be able to survive.
The factory is known as the livelihood for farmers of Nashik, Sinnar, Igatpuri, and Trimbkeshwar. However, the factory has been shut due to political infighting. Despite many efforts to restart it, it has remained closed for the past eight years. In 2013, the factory owed Rs.84 crore to the District Bank, and as it turned into an NPA, the bank took possession of it under the Surface Act, 2012.
From 2013 to 2017, the bank charged an interest of Rs 54 crore on the factory. From 2019, MLA Saroj Ahire and MP Hemant Godse conducted several meetings with former Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and present Cooperative Minister Balasaheb Patil to restart the factory and aid the farmers. As per Sharad Pawar instructions, Patil directed the District Bank to implement the tender process.
Also, they appointed administrative officers for the factory’s account. While the leasing process of the factory is underway, the process is being disrupted due to individual gains. Under the pressure of farmers, MP Hemant Godse, along with Chhatrapati Sambhaji Raje Bhosale, opened a new factory and paid a deposit of Rs.2.5 crore. He was willing to pay an additional Rs.5 crore.
The technical company appointed for the new factory stated that the factory will be ready to produce sugar in next 56 days and will become fully functional till Diwali. However, the disruption in the tender process and the delayed work is causing problems for farmers. The farmers are afraid and questioning the representatives that when will the factory reopen for work? If the factory reopens, small and medium-sized industries will become operational in the surrounding working societies, thus increasing the profit margins and creating job opportunities.
This whole process would have benefitted the District Bank in loan recovery. Today, the bank has to spend lakhs of rupees protecting the factory premises and isn’t able to recover any amount. The whole scene has a political angle attached to it, and the farmers are suffering due to some leaders. The public representatives need to support the farmers and strengthen their side.
The NASAKA area has two MLA’s from NCP, one from Congress, three from BJP, and Shiv Sena’s MP. If they come together, the reopening of the factory is inevitable. Baburao Mojad, Raghunath Barkale and others have appealed to the politicians to focus on the factory’s reopening as the reopening will benefit the farmers and other sectors massively.