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Regular-article-logo Thursday, 13 June 2024

Mills’ revival a superhuman task: Silchar MP Rajdeep Roy

Sawant told him that he would visit the paper mills within a month of the completion of Parliament’s monsoon session

Swapnaneel Bhattacharjee Silchar Published 06.07.19, 06:56 PM
Rajdeep Roy at the news conference in Silchar on Saturday.

Rajdeep Roy at the news conference in Silchar on Saturday. Picture by Swapnaneel Bhattacharjee

Silchar MP Rajdeep Roy on Saturday said reviving the two non-functional paper mills in Assam was a “super-human task” and that the government was making all efforts to resolve the matter.

The Cachar Paper Mill at Panchgram in Hailakandi district and Nagaon Paper Mill at Jagiroad in Morigaon district have been lying non-functional since October 2015 and March 2017 respectively. Their workers have not received salaries for more than two-and-a-half years.

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Roy told reporters here on Saturday evening that a section of corrupt elements had looted the paper mills and sucked them like “parasites” and it was now a “super-human task” to make the industrial units functional.

The government is aware and efforts are on to resolve the matter soon, he said.

Roy said he had discussed the matter of the mills with Union minister for heavy industries and public enterprises Arvind Sawant in New Delhi recently and apprised him of the sufferings of the workers and their families.

Sawant told him that he would visit the paper mills within one month of the completion of Parliament’s ongoing monsoon session, Roy said.

Manabendra Chakraborty, president of the Cachar Paper Project Workers’ Union and chief convener of the HPC Paper Mills Revival Action Committee, a conglomerate of workers’ unions of the two paper mills, told this correspondent that the government must follow the order given by the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) on May 29, 2019 and revive the mills at the earliest.

The NCLAT had on May 29, 2019 ordered that the mills should continue as going concern (running units) and their workers/employees should attend their duties as usual. It also asked the government for a revival package for the mills and release of the workers’ pending salaries.

“Fifty-five workers have died since the mills ceased to be functional because of stress, trauma and lack of medical treatment,” Chakraborty said.

Dipak Chandra Nath, general secretary of Cachar Paper Mill Officers and Supervisors’ Association, said survival has become a “challenge” for the workers and their families and that the government must clear the pending salaries first.

“We understand that reviving the mills will take some time. But the government should consider our condition seriously and remit the dues at the earliest,” he said.

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