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WB Govt Demands Project Report From Ruia Within 7 Days

PTI 02 Aug 2011, 12:21:10 IST

Kolkata, Aug 2: Aggrieved over Ruia Group's handling of Dunlop's Sahaganj unit in Hooghly with production remaining suspended since October last year, the West Bengal government on Monday asked the company to submit a detailed project report to it within seven days for the factory's revival. 

“We have told Mr Ruia that he is responsible for the situation in the unit and that there has been a blatant violation of all sections and sub-sections of the agreement between the union and the management in 2006,” state's Labour Minister Purnendu Bose told reporters after group Chairman Pawan K Ruia met him.

The minister said he had asked Ruia to submit to the state government a detailed project report (DPR) for facilitating of reopening the unit.“I will discuss the report when it comes with the industry and commerce minister and, if necessary, with the chief minister,” he added.

Bose, who had visited the Sahaganj unit of the Dunlop on July 16, said that Ruia had been asked to review the agreement afresh. “If necessary, we will scrap the agreement.” “If you are sincere to reopen the factory, I could not have found the dismantling of the motors and the cycle tyre factory during my last visit to Sahaganj,” he said. Asserting that the state government would not allow Ruia to wind up the factory and leave the scene, the labour minister said, “If necessary, we (state government) will approach the central undertakings, like the Railways, to set up factories (at Sahaganj)”.

Meanwhile, Pawan Ruia said he met the labour minister to discuss how to run the closed Sahagunj unit of tyre maker Dunlop India.“I apprised the minister of the situation in the Sahahgunj unit and told him about the problems and how it can be reopened,” Ruia told reporters.

“The plant is not closed due to labour problems, but on law and order related issues. The parts of plant and machinery have been stolen. At least 75 unidentified people have occupied the workers' quarters,” Ruia said. “I have also apprised him about requirement of a 50 MW captive thermal power plant for consistency in production economically. It will be done on the existing land of the unit,” he added.

Bose visited the Sahagunj unit on July 16 and wanted Ruia to meet him to inform him about his plans for Dunlop's Bengal unit.Bose alleged that during his last visit to Dunlop's Sahagunj unit, he had found that there had been dismantling of the heritage values.

“I expressed resentment at this to Mr Ruia,” he said, adding that motors and cycle tyre unit had been “dismantled”. Bose contested Ruia's claim that factory materials had been stolen and said, “I told him that you are responsible for this situation because you did not want theft to be stopped”.

Alleging that the security arrangement in the Dunlop's Sahaganj unit was inadequate, he said, “He has given the impression that he will close down. But we want that production resumes”.

The labour minister said there had been a nexus between owners and promoters in Hooghly district for dismantling the factory and look for real estate business. “We will not allow winding up of the Dunlop factory,” he said.If necessary, Bose said, he would take up the DPR with the state cabinet.

To a question, Bose said that Ruia had proposed to set up a 50-mw coal-based power plant, “...but we are not sure if at all it will ever come off”.Bose said 450 contract labourers had been rendered jobless by the Ruias and “the management has not given a single paisa to 350 employees who have taken VRS”. He said he asked Ruia to reopen the unit and the state government would look into the law and order aspect.

Reacting to the minister's suggestion of an alleged nexus between promoters and factory owners in Hooghly district for dismantling the factory to make way for real estate business, Ruia said there was no such plan.“Dunlop India Ltd had no such intention and the land in fact was planned to be utilised for the proposed co-generation power plant at Sahaganj, approval for which was awaited from the government,” Ruia said.

The statement also said that till date Dunlop India Ltd had not sold and neither has any plan to sell any land or property at the Sahaganj plant site. PTI