Khurda: At a time when the state government is encouraging various industries through Make In Odisha programme, factories in the Khurda Industrial Estate shutting down one after another has become a major concern for thousands of workers and their families.
The Utkal Spinning Mill inaugurated by Rajiv Gandhi in 1983 was the first industry in the Khurda Industrial area. However, later due to various reasons, the mill was closed in 1993.
Sources said the government has appointed a liquidator for the industry and rented the factory as godown of Liquor Corporation.
(A liquidator is a person legally empowered to act on behalf of a company to sell the company's assets prior to the company's closure in order to generate cash to pay off debts. Liquidators are often used when a company goes bankrupt).
“Ever since the company was shut, around 250-300 labourers working here have died due to lack of proper nutrition. The company also did not support us in any which way,” said Pratap Pradhan, former worker of Khurda Spinning Mill.
Not only this, the Khurda Oil Mill established in 1982 over 46 acres had raised hopes of the local people. However, the mill was also closed in 2003 due to mismanagement. Following its closure, more than 3000 workers were rendered jobless, sources said.
Similarly, labourers in the Saman Chitra Odisha Lamps, Utkal Distillery and Danny Benjon factory are still waiting for their arrear salaries.
On the other hand, state Finance Minister Sashi Bhusan Behera stated that efforts are on to revive all the industries and make them operational as soon as possible.
Behera stated, “The Chief Minister has reviewed all departments and the status of industrial projects in detail. Those factories which are totally dysfunctional and others which are in bad shape will be revived again and we will have a discussion on this with the Industries Minister.”