The employees of the Brahmaputra Valley Fertilizer Corporation Limited (BVFCL) on Monday staged a mass protest in front of the factory gate for betrayal of the Central Government in setting up of fourth fertilizer plant at Namrup.
Nearly 800 BVFCL
employees under the banner of Namrup
Fertilizer Shramik Union and Fertilizer Workers’ Union Namrup participated in the protest which was observed as ‘betrayal day’.
Once considered among the finest fertilizer factories of the country, BVFCL has been struggling to keep floating of late with dipping production of urea.
“BVFCL is the country’s oldest gas-based fertilizer plant and one of the finest but its only a matter of time before it is closed down due to dwindling production. Our only hope lies in construction of an entirely new unit that is highly energy efficient and state-of-the-art. The Centre’s proposal for setting up the fourth unit by phasing out the existing units has met with several hurdles. There should not be any further delay in setting up the unit. The Centre should sort out the issues soon,” said Tileswar Borah, general secretary of the Namrup Fertiliser Shramik Union.
He added that twelve years ago, the Central Government committed to set up the fourth fertilizer unit at Namrup.
“The Government has betrayed us because after the commitment, they have failed to set up the fourth plant. The Namrup-II and Namrup-III are not in a good condition because the capacity of a chemical plant is up to 15 years. So, the government should immediately take up the matter for the setting up of the fourth plant,” Borah said.
Set up in 1969, BVFCL has seen a rapid decline in production in recent years with the three fertilizer units (Namrup-1, Namrup-2, Namrup-3) outliving its utilities due to obsolete technology and high energy consumption. In 1986, the ageing Namrup-1 plant was phased out by the authorities. As things stands today, the two functioning units has been producing less than 3.5 lakh metric tonne of urea annually against its optimum capacity of 5.55 lakh metric tonne.
On May 22, 2015, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave its approval for setting up of a new Ammonia-Urea Complex having an annual capacity of 8.64 lakh metric tonne with an estimated investment of Rs 4,500 crore at Namrup under public private partnership.