Seeking revival of the Western India Match Company (WIMCO), Assam’s only match factory, a group of local citizens of Dhubri submitted a memorandum to Chandra Mohan Patowary.
The Assam industry minister was on a daylong visit to the district on Tuesday when the group of citizens led by the president of Dhubri BJP Debamoy Sanyal submitted the memorandum.
“Either revive WIMCO or set up an industrial park in its premises at the earliest,” the memorandum stated.
WIMCO was established in 1926 in Dhubri, the old district of Goalpara, spreading over 175 bighas of land and then it was called as Assam Match Company (AMC).
AMC was the first industry to celebrate the first Labour Day in Assam in 1935.
In 1979 AMC was bought by two Indian industrialists- SK Jatia and RK Jatia. They renamed AMC as WIMCO.
The company was shut down in 1997 after the Supreme Court ordered a ban on cutting of trees.
The company was later sold to ITC in 2001.
“We were hopeful that after taking over, the ITC would set up some industry that will help in employment generation and development of the district,” Sanyal said while handing over the memorandum.
“But even after almost 20 years, nothing has been done by the ITC,” he added.
“We fear that ITC may sell the land secretly to someone or may use it for real estate business,” he alleged.
“If this happens then it will damage the overall industrial planning of the district,” he added.
Patowary in 2016 had announced about WIMCO’s reopening while announcing Rs 5,000 crore industrial development projects in the state.
“The Dhubri match factory will be reopened and a jute-based industry would also come up in Dhubri,” Patowary had said then.