Barak bandh on November 22
Silchar: Hindustan Paper Corporation Paper Mills Revival Action Committee (HPCPMRAC) has given a call for a 12-hour Barak bandh on November 22. The bandh has also been supported by Cachar District Congress. This decision was taken at a public meeting which was held in Silchar on Sunday evening. MP Sushmita Dev said if the government does not take immediate measures to revive the Cachar Paper Mill of Panchgram, the court will just close down this public sector company. The government may not even require passing any closure notification to permanently shut down Nagaon Paper Mill and Cachar Paper Mill as this will be done by the court if the situation does not improve, pointed out the MP at the meeting.
Manabendra Chakraborty, chief Convener of HPC Paper Mills Revival Action Committee said though Sarbananda Sonowal, the Chief Minister of Assam, has given assurances, till now no concrete step has been taken. He categorically stated if the Chief Minister is unable to get the file of ‘Paper Mill Revival Plan’ cleared from the PMO, then he has got no right to continue in his office. He further said that since the last 20 months, both the Central and the State government are playing a game with them. This intentional delay in releasing the salary has affected the lives of many employees.
Manabendra Chakraborty lamented that the death of the 36 employees of the Mill is only due to the indifferent attitude of the government. He also said that the Committee met with the President of India on August 24, 2018. It was there that they told the President either he should give them the right to live or else the right to die. Finally, after listening to them, the President of India assured to provide an amount of Rs.90 crore for disbursal of the salary of the paper mill employees. However, he informed that the said amount was still not released.
Both Sushmita Dev and Manabendra Chakraborty lamented on the matter that just for an amount of Rs.96 lakh, the employees of the mill were thrown into the mouth of hell. Chakraborty further said that during ‘Namami Barak’, Sarbananda Sonowal assured that the problem of paper mill was his own problem and he would take immediate action so that the mill is revived. However, it was pointed out that, almost one year has elapsed, but Assam Chief Minister till now has not taken any step and has rather broken his promise.
The citizens’ meet was presided over by Dr. Tapodhir Bhattacharjee, former Vice-Chancellor of Assam University, Silchar. He too upheld the history of how the paper mill was allowed to die due to the apathy of the government. Among others present at the meeting included Dr. Saurindra Kumar Bhattacharjee, Samiran Acharjee, Rafique Ahmed and Sanjeev Roy.
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