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Podars submits Shakti mills revival plan of setting up weaving unit

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2014-09-16 17:45:00 – Mumbai

The Podar family, which owns the defunct Shakti mills in Mahalaxmi, had earlier this year submitted the petition seeking renewal of the lease with the state government have told the Bombay High Court that their revival plans for the mill should not be derailed by such "stray incidents".

Submitting a revival plan for the mill that stopped functioning more than 30 years ago, the Podar family said that it will set up a weaving unit, including warehouses, which will provide immediate employment to 180 people.

SSML will set up a weaving unit and other built up area in three phases on a portion of the textile mill property. The unit shall be a synthetic and art silk weaving facility for grey fabrics of high value mixed with fancy fabrics of suiting and shirting for men and dress material for women. The estimated employment generation shall be of 180 workers.

The initial capacity of the unit will be 24,00,000 mt per annum, which will be increased to 72,00,000 mt in the final phase. The project is intended to be self financed to the extent of 75 percent and the balance capital will be raised through loans.

The family has also proposed to appoint a three-member adjudicating committee, of which two members will be appointed by a newly-constituted board of directors, and the presiding member will be appointed by the high court.

The state Revenue and Forest Department had last month rejected the application filed by Podar Shakti Synthetics Pvt Ltd (PSSPL), fully owned by industrialist Ajay Podar and his family members. The PSSPL has 86 percent stake in SSML. While passing an order last month to take over the plot, Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat said that the complex will now be reserved for "larger public use".

One of the grounds for the takeover is the SSML management was not able to take proper care of the land, resulting in criminal activities taking place there.

Other main grounds for cancelling the SSML's lease were that the company was not in existence any more and that it had not used the land for the purpose it was given to them. The SSML petition, however, said that company does not cease to exist just because the high court had passed a winding-up order. It also says that it was precisely for this reason that the land was not being used for purpose it was taken (the HC's winding-up order), therefore the mill could not function.

The division bench of Justices VM Kanade and P D Kode directed the government to not take any further steps based on the order passed last month. The case is likely to be heard on October 13. On Monday, the high court granted an injunction on the government's plan to take over the 29,000 sq yard land.

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