Trade unions of the now defunct government-owned Anglo French Textiles (AFT) Mills here on Saturday urged the administration to take immediate steps to sell the land owned by the mill at Pattannur and use the fund to clear the dues of the mill, besides making the mill operational.
In a statement, eight trade unions of the mill AITUC, AIADMK,INTUC, LPF,BMS among others pointed out the recent cabinet decision to sell the land and utilise the funds for the mill and the subsequent statement of chief secretary that the land could be sold after getting the Centre’s nod.
The trade unions urged that the government officials support the sale of the land. It was further stated that the land at Pattannur was purchased out of the `3.76 crore profit earned by the mill in 1991 and hence, the land could be sold as per the decision of the board of directors of the mill and the government’s approval was not necessary.
It was also pointed out that when the national highways department acquired 1.1 acre of the land for road expansion, `69 lakh was provided towards the cost of the land to the Pondicherry Textile Corporation which runs the mill, and not to the government.
Further when the land was sold out to a private party in 1998 for `1.84 crore, the deal was challenged by the trade unions in the court, but the court ruled in favour of the AFT management. The consent of Centre or the State was not obtained.
Hence, the trade unions suggested that the land be sold forthwith and the funds utilized to pay the salary arrears of the mill workers and gratuity of the retired workers and the balance be used for reviving the defunct mill.