The situation of the entire Barak Valley in Silchar, Assam, is pathetic and miserable. The reason behind this is the continuous pressure to make the Cachar Paper Mill as a private sector organization. The Cachar Paper Mill is a unit of Hindustan Paper Corporation Limited, situated at Panchgram, around 25 KM away from the city of Silchar. Despite the lack of facilities and support from the government, the industry has been the source of bread and butter for around over 1 lakh people. The industry has maintained a continuous record of firm development and achieved several records like the highest annual production during the past years. But this economically potential industry has remained closed for the last three years (and one month)!
You will be dumbfounded to know that in the last two years, the workers haven’t received their salaries, their PF accounts have been closed, and the pension scheme has been closed as well. Several workers have committed suicide. Will the government take responsibility for what I think are deliberate murders? Will the government take any action to stop these suicides, rather than just being busy with other matters? Aren’t we a part of our nation?
Employees are retiring from the industry, but no positive gestures have been made for their welfare. Throughout the much-talked of event, ‘Namami Barak’, Assam’s Chief Minister Mr. Sarbananda Sonowal guaranteed that the problem of the Panchgram paper mill will be soon solved, and immediate action will be taken by the government. But as usual nothing happened.
Ironically, the Indian government has spent a huge amount of money to import paper from foreign countries, rather than producing at their own. The industry has a huge potential for job creation for the students in the state, as well as the current and upcoming generation of Barak Valley itself.
The government has done nothing! When our honorable Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi visited Barak Valley just before the election, he stated the fact that he’d help in every possible way if the BJP won in Assam. Adding to that, he stated that the people of Barak Valley will get more and more job opportunities along with many more ‘assurances’. The BJP won, but all the promises were futile. Neither did Barak Valley receive any kind of help from the Prime Minister, nor did he start a replacement industry to ensure job security for the people there. Our government is trying very hard to make the industry a private sector rather than helping people. But the question is why?
Well, the entire picture was presented in a written format before our honorable President and as a plea for help, after all the discussions. The government sanctioned a bill of ₹90 crores before the parliament, which was passed recently on August 27, 2018. Then, the money went to the industry authorities, but the workers got nothing. Where is the money? People are dying in Barak Valley, committing suicide, and, paradoxically, the government has recently re-opened a 29-year old mill in Madhya Pradesh, and granted ₹469 crores for that industry. (I don’t have any issue with that seriously). The government has made a statue worth ₹3,500 crores, but nobody cares for the wretched situation over in Silchar. Three lakh people are unemployed in Barak valley, Assam.
The taxpayers’ money is NOT the Government’s to do whatever it pleases, and it should be divided for the welfare of the people among all the states equally. Sadly, this is not happening. The government is least worried for the condition of Barak Valley. My people are dying here. But the government is busy with its cup of chai and chewing nuts.
The Government is liable to protect the life of its citizenry. That’s what we know.
Is it actually happening?