Industrialist K.K. Birla passes away (Lead)

August 30th, 2008 - 1:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Aug 30 (IANS) Eminent industrialist and former Rajya Sabha member Krishna Kumar Birla died at his Birla Park residence here Saturday after a brief illness. He was 90.Birla is survived by three daughters - Nandini Nopany, Saroj Poddar and vice chairperson and editorial adviser of Hindustan Times Shobhana Bhartia.

His wife Manorama Devi Birla had died about a month ago.

A spokesman said that Birla, “the chairman of the Hindustan Times, and the Rs.10,000 crore Zuari-Chambal Group passed away at about 7.30 a.m”.

Widely known by his acronym, KK, Birla was ailing for the past fortnight and his condition deteriorated Saturday morning.

Born in 1918, KK was the son of the country’s industrial doyen Ghanshyam Das Birla. His group of companies included Chambal Fertilisers and Chemicals Ltd, Paradeep Phosphates Ltd, Chambal Food Processing Unit Ltd, Sutlej Industries Ltd, Birla Textile Mills, Texmaco and Oudh Sugar.

A patron of learning, Birla established the Birla Foundation in 1991 to promote Hindi literature.

KK was also the chancellor of the Birla Institute of Technology and Science at Pilani, Rajasthan, the old hometown of the family.

His last rites will be performed at 3 p.m. Saturday.

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