Thakurgaon, Oct 11 (UNB) – The upgradation of Thakurgaon Sugar Mills still reamins a distant dream though five years have elapsed since the approval of the development project.
One of the reasons behind it is complexities in appointing a contracting farm for the construction works, according to sources at the sugar mills, five kilometers off the district town.
Bangladesh Sugar and Food Industries Corporation (BSFIC) under the Ministry of Industries was supposed to implement the project at a cost of Tk 101.53 crore by June 2016, Engineer SM Abdur Rashid, director of the project, told UNB.
The project was approved by the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) in 2013-2014 fiscal year, aiming to boost the production capacity of the mill.
Later, the deadline of the project was extended by two years till June 2018.
At the beginning of the current fiscal year, the project was extended by another year till June 2019 for the third time, raising the project cost to Tk 411.10 crore from Tk 101.54 crore.
BSFIC sources said two tenders were floated in September and November 2017 for appointing a contracting firm, but there has been no progress either.
BSFIC, the project implementation organisation, preferred to upgrade the factory’s capacity using machinery from any European country instead of using India or China-made products, but there has been no response yet since the tender was floated.
Under the project, an initiative was taken to produce refined sugar alongside normal onec through diversification and turn the mill into a profitable company by producing beet sugar, rectified spirit, biogas, and bio-compost.
It also includes power generation from renewable energy through co-generation to supply to the national grid after meeting the demand of the mill.
Ramesh Chandra Sen, the MP of Thakurgaon-1 constituency, said, “Once the project is implemented, the income of the mill will go up substantially reducing the sugar production expenditure by producing refined sugar.”
Set up in 1958, Thakurgaon Sugar Mill is now in a bad shape for widespread 'mismanagement'.