Sugar baron Murugesh Nirani in city
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Sugar baron Murugesh Nirani in city

June 9, 2020

Invites Pramoda Devi to re-open Pandavapura Sugar Factory

Mysore/Mysuru: Just a couple of days after Bagalkot District-based MRN  (Murugesh Rudrappa Nirani) Sugars bagged the Rs.405 crore contract for running the decades-old Pandavapura Sahakara Sakkare Karkhane Niyamita (PSSKL) at Pandavapura in Mandya District on a 40-year lease, BJP MLA from Bilgi and former Minister Murugesh Nirani, who owns MRN Sugars Group, visited the city this morning. He called on the member of the erstwhile Mysore Royal family Pramoda Devi Wadiyar at the Palace and invited her to inaugurate the Pandavapura Sugar Factory afresh when it recommences production under his Group’s management in about two months from now.

Later speaking to presspersons in the Palace premises, Nirani said that he met Pramoda Devi to seek her date for a fresh start of Pandavapura Factory which was established during the times of the Maharajas. 

Pointing out that he wanted the Factory to be inaugurated by Pramoda Devi as it has an emotional bond with the erstwhile Maharajas, the sugar baron said he has requested her to give a date for the inauguration, which is to happen in two months in the presence of Seers.

Explaining his plans after winning the bid to run the Sugar Factory on a long lease (40 years), he said that his priority is to give jobs for local youths and help the sugarcane growers of the region by issuing flawless bills in accordance with the quantity of cane they supply, which is one among the conditions set by the Government. 

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Noting that the production capacity of the factory has to be augmented from the existing crushing capacity of 3,500 tonnes per day, he said that the Bilgi Sugar Factory which he owns has a crushing capacity of 50,000 tonnes per day, with a power co-generation plant and a manufacturing facility for production of various by-products such as ethanol and CNG.

When asked about the dues that Pandavapura Factory owes to its workers and farmers, Nirani said that he has learnt that the Factory has to pay debts of Rs.26 crore, which the Government is likely to clear with the lease money (Rs.405 crore) he pays.

To a query on the dues that Nirani Sugars at Bilgi has to pay to the farmers, Nirani admitted that the Factory has to pay dues to the tune of Rs.32 crore.

Pointing out that the Factory was started 21 years ago, he said that the Rs.32 crore due was only for the year 2019-20 and there are no outstanding dues prior to that. “We will clear all dues in the coming days and let you know by an official message,” he said and added that the Government owes his Factory Rs.120 crore for various by- products supplied to it over the years.

He further said that many other Sugar Factories in his native Bagalkot District too owe money to the farmers. When asked whether there is no local opposition for his takeover of the Factory, he replied that he was the highest bidder in the global tenders floated by the Government and as such the question of his political affiliations and his nativity does not arise here.

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Replying to a query on the objection raised by designated KPCC President D.K. Shivakumar, he said that Shivakumar, who himself is a big entrepreneur, too should have bid for running the Factory. “There is no point in opposing the lease only for the sake of politics. Shivakumar has targeted me just because I am a BJP Legislator and there should be no politics when it comes to the revival of a Factory that is considered as the lifeline for the farming community,” he remarked.

He further said that he will hold deliberations with all stakeholders previously involved in the running of the Factory and receive vital inputs and suggestions from them to put the factory back on track.

BJP leader Cable Mahesh and others accompanied Nirani. 

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