MPs seek mills revival

The Cachar Paper Mill situated in Hailakandi district is the only industry of South Assam’s Barak Valley

By Satananda Bhattacharjee in Hailakandi
  • Published 20.06.19, 12:13 AM
  • Updated 20.06.19, 12:13 AM
  • a min read
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The MPs hand over the memorandum in New Delhi Picture by Satananda Bhattacharjee

All the nine newly elected BJP MPs of Assam and minister Pijush Hazarika on Wednesday met the Union minister of heavy industries and public enterprises, Arvind Ganapat Sawant, in New Delhi and demanded the immediate revival of the defunct paper mills of the state.

In a memorandum to the minister, they said Nagaon Paper Mill of Jagiroad in Morigaon district is the first paper mill of the world, which produced Kraft pulp with hundred per cent bamboo as raw material.

The Cachar Paper Mill situated in Hailakandi district is the only industry of South Assam’s Barak Valley and Asia’s largest paper mill.

The mills have stopped production and employees have not been paid for almost three years.

The memo was signed by minister of state for health and family welfare Pijush Hazarika, Union minister of state for food processing, Rameswar Teli, MPs Rajdeep Roy, Kripanath Mallah, Pradan Baruah, Queen Oja, Dilip Saikia, Horen Sing Bey, Pallab Lochan Das and Tapan Kumar Gogoi.

The Delhi bench of the national company law tribunal on May 2 ordered the liquidation of the two mills of HPCL.

In the order, the tribunal asked authorities concerned to pay all statutory dues and pending payment.

The memorandum said, “The Jagiroad paper mill stopped production in 2015-16 and later closed. The Cachar Paper Mill also stopped production in October, 2015, and then closed.”

It demanded immediate revival of the mill and said they believed the scope of making HPC a viable company still existed.

It said, “If it is run by professional management with proper modernisation, technical upgrade and financial restructuring, it can be carried out through the private-public partnership model or a private takeover initiative.”

They said the industrial developmental crisis may be resolved through reviving both the mills, the memo said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced before Assembly polls in the state in 2016 in an election rally at Kalinagar of Hailakandi district, merely 3km from Cachar Paper Mill that the mill will be revived if the BJP came to power.

Chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal had also requested Modi to take an initiative to revive both the mills.

Around 1,500 employees and workers are now suffering due to the non-payment of salaries for the last many months. Altogether 55 employees died and some of them also committed suicide over the issue.