Kanpur’s oldest Elgin textile mill is set for revival after reopening of JK Mills last November.
The closed mill had been on the political agenda for the past decade and the central government-owned National Textile Corporation (NTC) was until now unable to fulfil the revival promises often made by the politicians.
This time, however, the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (BIFR) has approved a Rs 193-crore revival package for Elgin-2 mill, which has also been approved by the Board of Restructuring of Public Sector Enterprises (BRPSE) and the textile ministry for the purpose.
A special cabinet committee constituted for the purpose will review the proposal within a week. The textile ministry decided to revive one cotton mill in the city and Elgin mill-2 was found most apposite for restoration.
The Elgin-1 mill is now serving as the British India Corporation (BIC) headquarters.
“The work for overhauling and upgrading the existing plant machinery will begin once the proposal is passed, apart from procuring Rs 15 crore by selling looms in the plant,” said an official on the condition of anonymity.
He added that the mill machinery would be upgraded to latest technology after six months of full capacity production.
However, the final decision regarding the revival will take almost a month.
Members of Kanpur Trade Union Council (KTUC) recently staged a five-hour-long demonstration at the Elgin Mill gate on demanding to reopen the mill at the earliest.
The protesting workers alleged that it had been more than five years since the government had assured for a revival of the mill.
“Five years back, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had assured the mill workers of restarting the Elgin Mill, provided we vote for their party and bring them to power. Five years later, our position is still the same,” said state President of Textile Labour Union Ramji Tripathi.
KTUC has, meanwhile, requested the Union Minister of state and Kanpur Member of Parliament (MP) Prakash Jaiswal to reopen the Kanpur Textile Mill by investing Rs 20 crore, as recommended by NITRA last year.