The Namrup Fertilizer Shramik Union (NFSU) and Fertilizer Workers’ Union Namrup (FWUN), two recognized trade unions of the Namrup based Brahamaputra Valley Fertilizer Corporation Ltd on Friday demanded immediate step for setting up of Namrup fourth-plant.
Talking to reporters here, Tileswar Bora, general Secretary, NFSU said, “Both the Namrup II and Namrup III are outdated and lost its capacity and for last several years and we are demanding to set up of Namrup IV plant but due to the laid back attitude of the government the fourth plant didn’t come up. We demand immediate setting up of the Namrup IV plant.”
He said the then Union minister for fertilizer and Chemicals Ram Vilas Paswan during his visit to Namrup on June 26, 2006, had announced that a fourth unit would be set up at a cost of Rs 2,500 Crore and have an annual production capacity of eight to nine lakh metric tonnes of urea.
“More than eleven years have passed when it was announced by the then Union Minister but till date nothing has come up for the setting of the fourth plant. In 2014 the Centre had proposed to set up a fourth unit of the fertilizer plant as a joint venture undertaking. It was proposed that Oil India Limited will have a stake of 26% while BVFCL and Assam government will have 11% share each while Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers (RCF) will have the majority stake of 52%. However, the project has failed to take off all these years,” Bora added.
Meanwhile, the production capacity of the two functioning units of the BVFCL has declined by almost half to less than 3 lakh metric tonne annually from 5.5 lakh metric tonne.
In 1986, the first unit of the BVFCL also known as Namrup-1 was closed down by the authorities after it became redundant. The existing two units, Namrup-2 (1976) and Namrup- 3 (1987) too have become outdated and in need of a complete overhaul.
Mugdha Mahanta, general secretary, FWUN said, “The BVFCL which is the sole fertilizer industry in the entire north-eastern region is now on the verge of closure due to apathy of the Centre. They have been constantly dilly-dallying in setting up the new unit. Due to outdated machineries the production capacity of the existing two plants has seen a rapid decline. Now our only hope is the fourth plant.”
He said there is a shortage of 80 lakh metric tonne of Urea in India.
“The state government organised Advantage Assam in Assam to bring investment to set up industries in the state but at the same time doing nothing for the revival of the Namrup plant. We demand the government to prioritise the issue for the immediate setting up of the fourth plant,” he added.
Presently, BVFCL have 615 permanent workers and 1500 casual workers.