Chandikhole: The Konark Jute Mill at Dhanamandal in Jajpur district has lost its existence after the plant was completely closed down and turned into a stockyard for iron ores following its sale to Orissa Stevedores Ltd (OSL), a report said.
The development comes days after the state government sold the mill to OSL. The closure of the plant has rendered over 4,000 mill workers jobless and snatched away the livelihood of over 2,000 people indirectly dependent on it.
Reports said iron ores coming from Keonjhar are being stored on the mill premises to be transported to Paradip in trains. Moreover, there is even a plan to supply iron ores from here to various sponge iron ore units in the state.
Former Chief Minister Nandini Satpathy aiming at the development of farmers and agriculture in the area had established the jute mill at Dhanmandal in Jajpur district in 1972.
The jute mill is spread over 86.80 acres near the Dhanmandal railway station. The current value of the land is estimated to be over Rs 80 crore while the machineries, equipment, buildings and staff quarters will be even more.
The jute mill employed over 4000 workers while 2000 people indirectly earned their livelihood from it. Later, former Chief Minister Biju Patnaik announced a financial package for revival of the mill after it suffered heavy losses in 1992.
The mill again suffered loss in 2004 following which the state government decided to sell it off to some private firm. It was decided to sell off the plant to OSL at a price of Rs 33 crore in 2010 but the proposal was shelved due to some errors.
However, finally the mill was sold off to OSL February 17. Several agitations have been staged in past by various political parties, employees and civic society activists demanding revival of the mill.
The employees have even submitted a memorandum to the state government urging it not to sale the mill to a private firm. However, the ultimate happened and the mill was sold to a private firm. Over 417 workers had taken VRS when the mill was closed down in 2012.
The state government had announced to rehabilitate these employees elsewhere but that never happened.
When contacted, Binay Ketan Ojha, manager of OSL, said the iron ore stockyard has been built temporarily while the company is yet to take a call on operating the jute mill.