CHIKKAMAGALURU: A 57-year-old steel casting unit at Tarikere in Chikkamagaluru, a subsidiary unit of Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML), is all set to shut down, leaving hundreds of its employees in the lurch. The Union Ministry of Defence, in its letter, intimated that it has accorded in-principle approval for the closure of Vignyan Industries Limited (VIL), triggering anxiety and uncertainty among its employees. The MoD has requested BEML to initiate the closure in accordance with the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) guidelines.
In 1963, Duggappa, an engineer in the Bhadravathy Visvesvaraya Iron and Steel Limited (VISL) with his friend Somshekarappa, started the company in Tarikere, using crowdfunding and personal investments. It was named Vigyan Industries Ltd in 1966.
VIL was manufacturing steel parts and spare equipment for the Railways and materials required in engineering industries. VIL Mazdoor Sangha secretary GS Satyanarayan said those who invested lakhs of rupees will be on the street and lives of regular and contractual workers will be in jeopardy. Regular workers should be transferred to BEML, he demanded. VIL Administrative Officer Rajashekaran said all companies running under BEML, including VIL, are being closed as per government’s order and it is contemplated to give suitable compensation to the employees.