Jajpur: The state government attaches much importance to the development of the agriculture sector, but the government-owned sugar factory at Krushnanagar under Bari block of Jajpur district has been forgotten by the government. Sadly, there is even no proposal for revival of this sugar factory.
Reports said the cooperation department has provided data to the government about five other sugar factories in the state on which questions have been raised in the Assembly. Regrettably, the fact that Krushnanagar sugar factory set up in 1975 in Jajpur has been missing in the data.
As per the official data, there are five sugar factories with each having production capacity of 1250 tonne per day in the state. Asika Sugar factory was set up in 1963; Bargarh sugar factory in 1956; Bijayananada sugar factory in 2004; Badamba sugar factory in 1972 and Nayagarh sugar factory in 1982. The data was provided to a starred question raised by MLA Mohan Charan Majhi.
Various outfits have raised accusing fingers at the government’s intention toward this only agro-based industry in the district.
Notably, Padmanabh Mishra, then director of industries had identified land in 1960 for the sugar factory at Krunhananagar under Bijharpur assembly constituency.
Former MLA of Binjharpur Chittaranjan Nayak, former chairman of Bari block Rudra Charan Samal, form sarpanch Birakishore Ray, freedom fighter Bhikari Mohanty had made efforts for the establishment of this agro-based factory.
Former Industries Minister Kanhu Charan Lenka had inaugurated this factory in 1975. Over 100 labourers a manager and a fourth-grade employee were engaged in the plant. 20 labourers were permanent staff while rest others were on a contractual basis.
Importantly, the factory used to play an instrumental role in boosting sugar farming in the peripheral areas like Ramu, Ksushnanagar, Serpur, Panikana, Benjarapur, Matiapada, Haladibasant and Balia.
Thousands of farmers used to eke out their decent living from sugar farming. They were selling sugar for Rs70 per quintal.
The major problem for the factory was proper connectivity. Birupa and Brahmani flow on the two sides of the factory, making sugar transportation on vehicles difficult.
As sufficient raw materials were not available to the factory, the latter faced losses and finally was closed down. Later, the government sold out the machinery of the factory to a Kolkota-based firm.
Over 100 workers had been rendered jobless. Now, sugar farming has still been intact in the area, but the produce is transported to another state. However, there has been no proposal for the revival of the factory. Farmers said, if the factory is revived, about 5000 farmers will benefit from it.