Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa inaugurated a slew of projects, some completed and a few commencing work.
Of the completed projects two deserve special attention: the first is the Saint Gobain Research India (SGRI) project set up in collaboration with IIT-M as the anchor unit at the IIT-M Research Park Phase II. IE included a special issue on this along with its February issue.
The second completed project relates to the paper boards project of Tamil Nadu Newsprint & Papers Ltd (TNPL). This project with capacity to produce 200,000 tonnes of multi-layer, double-coated board will increase capacity of TNPL to 600,000 tonnes and will make it the third largest producer of paper and paper boards in India. Deputy Managing Director, A Velliangiri, referred to the project completed in a remarkably short span with sophisticated facilities for producing fine quality coated boards much in demand by the food and other consumer product companies.
TNPL pioneered the mass production of newsprint and printing paper based on bagasse, a by-product used as fuel by sugar mills, an ingenious idea of saving this precious raw material for paper production; TNPL compensated the mills with coal-fired boilers for meeting its fuel requirements. This innovation and pioneering work made the state-owned project a great success.
Velliangiri referred to the sterling role played by a paper dealer K Lakshmanan and then state Finance Minister C Ponnaiyan, who supported the innovative idea of Seshasayee Paper Board’s S Viswananthan that greatly impressed then TN Chief Minister M G Ramachandran who lent his full support to this innovative project. Surprisingly the Centre has not endeavored to take this to other large sugar producing states of Maharashtra, UP… The newspaper industry should also have supported this and ensured availability of indigenous newsprint that is imported in large quantities.
TNPL has simultaneously set up an industrial park near Karur with 15 units involved in paper conversion and other paper related industries at an outlay of Rs.107 crore. The units will create value added products out of the paper and multilayer double coated board produced by TNPL. The industrial units here will give direct and indirect employment to around 500 persons. In addition to this, the manufacturing capacity of TNPL’s cement factory will be increased from 600 metric tonnes to 900 metric tonnes per day with an expenditure of Rs. 300 million.