When asked, Anandan said, “the co-gen plant supplies the power for the mill’s crushing and hence we were able to get permission to overhaul the turbine so that when crushing starts on December 23, it will proceed non-stop round the clock.”
Meanwhile, mill officials said that the mill had registered a total of 1.15 lakh tonnes cane for the ensuing crushing season. “Additional loads were expected from the Ambur and Tirupattur sugar mills.”
However, the mill officials were aggrieved that farmers with unregistered cane preferred to provide them to private units in the area. “Though we plan to give Rs 3,040 per tonne of cane to farmers as the state government SAP (state advisory price) many farmers lacking awareness still prefer private mills,” Anandan said.
Sources revealed that last year some private mills paid only around Rs 2,300 per tonne when the official rate was Rs 3,000. “Farmers still do not understand that loss of Rs 700 per tonne amounts to sizeable quantity when all the cane they provided is considered,” he said and added that in a bid to create awareness of the advantages of handing over cane to cooperative units, meetings were planned in all the divisions under the mills jurisdiction.
“We have completed the farmers meeting in one division and plan to complete meetings in the remaining 7 divisions so that farmers will get the government rate,” he added. Asked about diversion of cane for jaggery when the latter prices are higher, he said, “many farmers know that they will be paid immediately if they provide cane to the mill and hence have opted to stay away from jaggery traders even though they offer attractive prices. This is because the mill has no pending farmers cane dues as everything was paid before the end of the last crushing season, he added.