TUMAKURU: A saga of many decades came to an end as the Hindustan Machine Tools (HMT) watch factory-IV was officially shut down on Saturday.
The Union government had taken a decision in this regard in December 2015 and the process of sending 340 employees on voluntary retirement scheme has been going on since then.
On Saturday, as many as 125 employees were given ‘pink’ slips and their allowances, including arrears, will be settled gradually.
The unit which was set up in 1978 when K Lakkappa was the MP had carved a niche for itself.
It had generated over 1,600 jobs directly and another 400 in the 20 ancillary units on a sprawling 119 acres which almost hosted a township, including the residential quarters of its employees.
Siddaganga Mutt’s centenarian head Shivakumara Swami had himself voluntarily spared 40 acres at a price fixed by KIADB.
Some engineers and a few holding top managerial posts quitting the company to join a private one established at Hosur was the first hole in the ship, observed the then public relations officer K N Shivaraj, now a practising advocate.
The ancillary units allegedly involved in the illegal import of spare parts instead of manufacturing on their own was the last nail in the coffin, he remarked.
In fact, during 2006, the administration had sought for a revival package, but the Union government did not consider it.
As the salaries of the employees were due for over a year, many of them were happy with the shut down as they will get their arrears soon.