A citizens’ forum has demanded immediate revival of Cachar paper mill and Ashok paper mill of the Hindustan Paper Corporation Limited (HPCL) with its Central Public Sector Enterprise status kept intact.
The forum opposed any form of privatisation of the HPCL industries. Various resolutions were taken during the forum’s meet at Panchgram here on Saturday for the revival of both the mills.
According to a The Telegrpah report, the forum demanded recruitment of local youths for the mills and sought restoration of normal activities at the Kendriya Vidyalalyas of both the mills by deploying teaching staff and infusing efficient management.
It said it will start a movement for the mills’ revival after Ramadan.
Production in Cachar paper mill was suspended on October 20, 2015, while Ashok paper mill of Nagaon was shut down on March 13, 2017. Salaries of the employees of both the mills are pending for months.
The meeting was convened by two leading citizens of Panchgram – Ramendra Kumar Chanda and Hazi Abdul Manaf Mira – and was addressed by Algapur MLA Nijam Uddin Choudhury, former MLA Ataur Rahman Majharbhuiya and Citu leader Supriya Bhattacharjee, among others.
They alleged that both the Centre and the state are reluctant to revive the mills. They said the mills were in good condition when their production was suspended. They termed the closure of both the mills a deep-rooted conspiracy to allow benefits to private companies.
The forum members said the government is purchasing paper at Rs 95,000 per metric tonnes (MT), while the HPCL sells it at Rs 49,000 per MT in competitive market. It demanded a thorough inquiry into the proceedings of the paper industry.
“Prime Minister of Narendra Modi on March 27, 2016, had promised that the mills would be revived immediately if the BJP comes to power but it has not been fulfilled yet,” a forum member said. The forum observed one-minute silence over the death of 34 employees of both the mills.