Nizam Sugars: Government goes on damage control mode

The New Indian Express – 9 March 2018:  SANGAREDDY: With the Opposition Congress and BJP upping their ante over revival of Nizam Sugars, the government has reportedly started a damage control exercise by assessing the mood of the people and the impact of the workers’ anger on the coming elections. Highly-placed sources said that the government had asked the intelligence wing to submit a report on the intensity of the issue, frame of mind of the workers and how they (workers) want the issue to be resolved.

It is learnt that Medak district Intelligence DSP Ennam Raghu interacted with the workers and tried to know their state of mind on the issue as per the directions of government. The sleuths interacted with workers at Nizam Sugar Industries and talked to sugar farmers on the issue and sent a report to the government.

There are about 310 workers from Nizam Sugars industries located at Mambojipally in Medak district, and Bodhan and Metpally Sugars in united Nizamabad district. The report sent to the government reportedly mentioned that workers will remain silent on the issue if they were given a package like the one given to workers in Singareni collieries.

The Congress, during its bus yatra through Sangareddy and Nizamabad districts, raised mainly the issue of Nizam Sugars. The Congress had assured the workers that if they form the government in 2019, they would reopen the industries. They also assured them of raising the issue related to pending dues of workers in the coming Assembly sessions.

Officials said that the government may soon take a decision on the issue. The report reportedly stated that the issue may show its impact on coming assembly elections mainly in Medak, Korutla and Jagityala constituencies. Meanwhile, workers have also expressed their opinion clearly to the Intelligence officials. They said that each one of them should be given `20-25 lakh as a settlement package like it happened in case of Singareni collieries workers, and the quarters allotted to them in past should be given to them at a nominal price. Medak Nizam Sugar industries workers Porata Samithi leader Palle Siddiramulu said that they would not agree for the sale of industry until their demands were fulfilled.

Peek into the past

Before 2014, CM K Chandrashekar Rao had said that the government would take over Nizam Sugar Industries within 100 days of coming to power, but it was not fulfilled

The industry was running under private-government partnership and was shut down in 2015
Workers had filed cases challenging the shutdown in labour court
One side of the issue is pending in labour court and on the other side, government invited tenders to run the industry and the bidder should have capacity to invest `100 crore

Govt didn’t get much response from the industrialists. Not a single tender was
filed within the prescribed time
Workers’ unions are challenging the government on the sale of industry in the court