Guwahati: Another sick worker at the former Nagaon paper factory died on Friday morning, bringing the death toll among workers at two Assam-based Hindustan Paper Corporation Limited (HPCL) to 102.
Mohammed Sarifuddin Ahmed (57), a resident of HPC ward, Nagaon Paper Mill in Morigaon district, was brought to Guwahati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) after being found unconscious on the road near Jagiroad paper mill. He died Friday at 7:30 a.m.
“He suffered from chronic diabetes and asthma. He could not recover from his condition. We have lost another precious life,” Manobendra Chakraborty, chairman of the Joint Action Committee of Recognized Unions (JACRU) of Nagaon and Cachar paper mills, told EastMojo.
“In fact, every living worker goes through days with unbearable pain, stress and trauma. The workers have lost all hope of living in dignity as they are unable to meet the cost of medical treatment with their unpaid wages for 63 months,” Chakraborty said.
The unfortunate incident comes just after the government of Assam finally took over the paper mill assets of Hindustan Paper Corporation Limited (HPCL) from Jagiroad and Panchgram, with the Assam Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC) declared the successful bidder last Monday. .
Cachar paper mill at Panchgram in Hailakandi district and Nagaon paper mill at Jagiroad in Morigaon have not been operating since October 2015 and March 2017, respectively.
The government will offer a general relief package of Rs 700 crore, including the settlement of various unpaid dues of employees and workers of HPCL assets at paper mills in Nagaon and Cachar.
An agreement was signed between the representatives of the officers’ and supervisors’ associations and the workers’ unions of the HPCL (in liquidation) and the government of Assam.
The Rs 700 crore relief package was approved at the Cabinet meeting held on September 30, 2021.