Guwahati: Another ailing employee of the now-defunct Nagaon Paper Mill passed away on Friday morning, taking the death toll of workers of two Assam-based Hindustan Paper Corporation Limited (HPCL) to 102.

Mohammed Sarifuddin Ahmed (57), a resident of the HPC quarter, Nagaon Paper Mill in Morigaon district, was brought to Guwahati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) after he was found unconscious by the road near the paper mill at Jagiroad. He died at 7.30 am on Friday.

“He suffered from chronic diabetes and asthma. He could not recover from his condition. We have lost another precious life,” Manobendra Chakraborty, president of the Joint Action Committee of Recognised Unions (JACRU) of the Nagaon and Cachar paper mills, told EastMojo.

“As a matter of fact, every living worker is passing days with unbearable suffering, stress and trauma. The workers have lost all hope to live life with dignity as they are unable to meet the expenses of medical treatment with their salaries unpaid for the past 63 months,” Chakraborty said.

The unfortunate incident comes just after the Assam government had finally taken over the assets of Hindustan Paper Corporation Limited (HPCL) paper mills at Jagiroad and Panchgram, with Assam Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC) declared as the successful bidder last Monday.

The Cachar Paper Mill at Panchgram in Hailakandi district and Nagaon Paper Mill at Jagiroad in Morigaon have been non-functional since October 2015 and March 2017, respectively.

The government will offer a general relief package of Rs 700 crore, including settlement of various outstanding dues of employees and workers of HPCL’s assets at Nagaon and Cachar paper mills. 

An agreement was signed between the representatives of officers and supervisors’ associations and workers unions of the HPCL (in liquidation) and the Assam government.

The relief package of Rs 700 crore was accorded approval in the Cabinet meeting held on September 30, 2021.

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