Closure of Belgaum-Anmod road and delay in payment led to stopping supply
PONDA: The woes of Sanjeevani Sugar Factory are never ending: First, the factory delayed to commence the crushing season for want of pollution certificate; then, it was further delayed due to machinery breakdown. And now the factory faces shortage of sugarcane, as the Karnataka farmers have stopped sending loads since Thursday.
It appears that for the rest of the season, which ends on February 28, Sanjeevani will have to rely only on sugarcane supplied by Goan farmers.
As the Belgaum-Anmod road has been completely closed for transpiration from February 14 for the ongoing work of widening the National Highway, the sugarcane farmers from Karnatka are forced to stop supplying sugarcane to Sanjeevani factory. The cost of transporting sugarcane through any other route would be unaffordable for the Karnatka farmers.
The contractor had given some relaxation for transportation of sugarcane, but now as the road digging has commenced all along the national highway, it is closed for all types of vehicles.
Further, delay in payment by the factory is also causing hardship to Karnataka farmers. Unlike the Sanjeevani, the factories in Karnataka are making quick payments. This is another reason why the Karnatka farmers are not ready to supply sugarcane to Sanjeevani.
It is learnt that the road widening work on Belgaum-Anmod route would take six month to one year time.
The Sugarcane farmers led by their President Rajendra Desai met Agriculture Minister Vijay Sardesai and requested him to bring the Sanjeevani Factory under Agriculture Department. It is currently under the Co-operation Department. Farmers fear that if situation continues, it may lead to closure of Sanjeevani affecting livelihood of over thousand farmers and hence demanded that the Government should bring more areas under sugarcane cultivation.
Meanwhile, since the commencement of crushing season this year, 50,000 metric tonnes of sugarcane has been crushed, which include 17,000 tonnes supplied by Karnataka farmers.
The factory officials say that since the Karnataka farmers have stopped their supply this year, there would be decline in crushing of sugarcane by 13,000 metric tonnes.
He said that by February 28, the factory would have crushed 65,000 metric tonnes of sugarcane. Last year, 73,000 tonnes of sugarcane was crushed, which includes 26,000 metric tonnes supplied by Karnataka farmers.