Himanta Biswa Sarma, NRL expansion project

GUWAHATI:

The Numaligargh Refinery expansion project got a shot in the arm after 378 acres of land required for the construction was cleared on February 5.

The decision to acquire the said acres of land from Rajabari Tea Estate in Upper Assam’s Golaghat district was taken in a meeting attended by the management and labourers of the tea estate in the presence of representatives of Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha (ACMS), Assam Tea Tribes Students Association (ATTSA), officials of NRL and district administration at NRL Guest House at Numaligarh on Saturday.

“Happy that all issues regarding acquisition of 600 bigha land of Rajabari tea garden for NRL expansion were resolved at the meeting among representatives of ACMS, ATTSA, NRL & district admin. They will give compensation & ensure that no permanent or temporary worker is affected (sic),” tweeted Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa after the meeting.

In the meeting, the chief minister made several directions for the amicable resolution of the land acquisition issue to ensure that not a single permanent or temporary worker of Rajabari Tea Garden is affected by it.

As a part of the resolution, 156 permanent workers of the tea garden will be compensated to the tune of Rs 5 lakh each. Out of this, Rs 4 lakh will be paid by the tea garden management and Rs 1 lakh by the state government.

Similarly, 222 temporary workers will be given compensation to the tune of Rs 2.50 lakh each, out of which Rs 2 lakh will be paid by the tea garden management and Rs 50,000 by the state government.

Further, the NRL has also come forth to give appointments to 100 workers of the garden – 50 as permanent and 50 temporary.

While responding to requests of the representatives of ATTSA and ACMS, the chief minister said that steps would be taken for setting up a state-of-the-art skill development centre at Numaligarh to serve the interests of local youth, especially those from the tea gardens.

He also assured ACMS to extend financial support from the state government for the construction of a hostel proposed by it at Mission Patty in Golaghat district.

The NRL has undertaken an expansion project for increasing its capacity from 3 million metric tonnes per annum to 9 MMTPA with the adoption of state-of-the-art technology at an estimated cost of Rs 28,026 crore.

The company had started the expansion project in 2019 by announcing the single-largest investment in the Northeast and plans to complete the work by 2023.

State agriculture minister Atul Bora, finance minister Ajanta Neog and health minister Keshab Mahanta, MP Kamakhya Prasad Tasa and MLA Biswajit Phukan also attended the meeting.