Guwahati: The hurdle in the acquisition of over 198 acres of tea garden land for expanding the capacity of Numaligarh Refinery Ltd, Northeast’s largest PSU refiner, was cleared on Saturday in a meeting of all stakeholders with Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, officials said.

Sarma held a meeting with the representatives of Assam Tea Tribe Students Association (ATTSA), Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha (ACMS), NRL management, Golaghat district administration and Rajabari tea estate to resolve all issues relating to the acquisition of the land, they said.

According to an official release, Sarma after a threadbare discussion and hearing all sides gave several directions for amicable resolution to the land acquisition issue to ensure that not a single permanent or temporary worker of Rajabari tea estate is affected.

As per the understanding reached at the meeting, held at Numaligarh in Golaghat district, Rs five lakh compensation will be paid to each of the 156 permanent workers of the tea estate. Out of this, Rs four lakh will be paid by the tea garden management and Rs one lakh by the state government.

The garden’s 222 temporary workers will be given compensation of Rs 2.5 lakh each. For this purpose Rs two lakh will be paid by the tea garden management and Rs 50,000 by Assam government, the CMO release said.

NRL on its part will provide jobs to 100 tea garden workers, half of whom will be on permanent roll and other half will be temporary employees, it added.

Sarma assured that steps will be taken for setting up a skill development centre at Numaligarh to serve the interests of local youth, especially those from the tea gardens.

NRL said in November last year that the cost of expanding its capacity from 3 MMTPA to 9 MMTPA has escalated by Rs 5,432 crore to Rs 28,026 crore due to the adoption of advanced technology.

The company had started the Numaligarh Refinery Expansion Project (NREP) in 2019 by announcing the single largest investment in the northeast and aimed to complete it in four years.

The NREP also includes a 1,398 km crude oil pipeline of 9 MMTPA from Paradip in Odisha to Numaligarh and a 654 km product pipeline of 6 MMTPA from Numaligarh to Siliguri in West Bengal.

Oil India owns 69.63 per cent stake in NRL, while Assam government and Engineers India Limited have 26 per cent and 4.37 per cent holding respectively.

The present authorised capital of the company is Rs 5,000 crore and paid up capital is Rs 735.63 crore.

Also read: Assam Assembly budget session to begin from Mar 14

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