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Refinery workers seek subway

Kokrajhar, Jan. 21: The Bongaigaon Refinery (BGR) Workers' Co-ordination Committee today took out a protest march from the refinery main gate to the Chirang deputy commissioner's office, Kajalgaon, through National Highway 31(C), demanding an underpass near the Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) BGR main gate, Dhaligaon, in Chirang.

The committee has announced a series of agitation programmes, including a three-hour blockade on the highway on February 12, followed by a four-hour blockade on March 12 and more blockades in April and May.

The protesters submitted a memorandum to the Chirang deputy commissioner. A copy of it was also sent to the project director of the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) Project Implementation Unit.

BGR Employees Union president M. Iswary said, "Till April 2015, all necessary steps to construct the underpass were made. But suddenly, the technical expert team from Delhi submitted a report to the director of the project implementation unit against the construction of the underpass."

Iswary added that because of lack of an underpass, personnel working inside the refinery complex had felt scared as fatal accidents near the IOCL BGR main gate became frequent, affecting the overall operation of the refinery. "We have no other option but to launch a protest in support of our legitimate demand."

The newly constructed highway has witnessed several mishaps at certain vulnerable locations, including the spot near the IOCL BGR main gate (Dhaligaon).

In the past few months, over 10 accidents have taken place in the same area, some of which were fatal. In December, a mob torched a vehicle with a Bhutan number plate after it hit an eight-year-old student at Dhaligaon. Tarani Barman of Barpatar in Bongaigaon lost one of his legs after another Bhutanese vehicle hit him at the same spot.

The Chirang district administration, earlier, alerted the police and all departments concerned to curb rash driving.


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