In what is sweet news coming ahead of Pongal for sugarcane farmers attached to the Vellore cooperative sugar mill, the mill chairman announced the factory as receiving one-year’s dues of State Advisory Price (SAP) amounting to Rs 6.10 crore a few days ago.
Meanwhile, the cooperative sugar mill which started this year’s crushing activity last month has nearly one lakh tonne in cane inventory which will be crushed in another two months, sources said. With a daily crushing capacity of 2500 TCD (Tonnes Crushed Daily), this is the only mill functioning in erstwhile Vellore district as poor cane registration in the Tirupattur cooperative sugar mill area and outmoded machinery in the 51-year-old Ambur cooperative sugar mill resulted in the State government ordering both mills to divert their registered cane supply to the Vellore unit.
However, arrivals from the Tirupattur mill have been delayed and though more than 6000 tonnes from there should have reached the Vellore unit by now, only around 2000 tonnes has reached Vellore, sources said. While Tirupattur mill chairman Rajendran expressed helplessness over the delay, mill officials there said, “Our mill has signed agreements with both the Vellore and Harur (Dharmapuri district) sugar mills to supply cane and hence, loads were diverted to Harur due to machinery breakdown in the Vellore unit.”
Vellore mill chairman Anandan, however, refuted the claim, saying, “The breakdown was only for 10 hours and diversion should be undertaken only after we informed Tirupattur. This was not done and hence cane meant for Vellore being diverted to the Harur mill was a unilateral decision.” In a bid to ensure sufficient cane availability, Vellore mill officers have started coaxing owners of unregistered cane units adjacent to the mill to send their cane for crushing. “We plan to get another one lakh tonne this way which will ensure that the Vellore unit has enough cane to extend crushing for a total of four months from December,” Anandan said.