Workers and employees of a state-owned sugar mill have been staging demonstrations for the last one week against an initiative by a private company to set up an industry near the mill.
Nitol-Tata group secretly bought a large area near the Pabna Sugar Mill at Dashuira point in Ishwardi upazila last month and has got mutation of six acres of land, said Pabna Sugar Mill Managing Director (MD) Md Tofazzal Hossain.
“After getting their land mutation, the Nitol-Tata Group started construction of a boundary wall, ignoring our objection,” the MD told this correspondent.
“We have taken initiative to expand the mill area for starting diversification projects to bring profit for the mill,” he said.
“We submitted a plan to the Ministry of Industry to acquire 27.48 acres of private property in front of the mill in September last year to set up a juice plant and water plant. We are waiting for government approval to acquire the land, but the private company bought the land and halted the expansion project,” the MD added.
“The mill has been facing loss since its inauguration in the '90s due to lack of profitable projects. It is producing 1,500 tonnes of sugar from 15,000 tonnes of sugarcane a day, but this is not enough to earn profit,” said Pabna Sugar Mill Workers' Association Secretary Ashrafuzzaman Ujjal.