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Hundreds of workers and employees under the banner of Hindustan Paper Corporation (HPC) Workers' Union blocked National Highway 37 at Jagiroad in central Assam protesting the closure of Jagiroad and Cachar paper mills. Both mills were under the Union Heavy Industry Ministry. Production at both the paper mills came to a halt in April this year causing job loss to more than 1,000 workers and employees directly and 2,000 families indirectly, the protesters claimed. HPC Workers' Union secretary Ananda Bordoloi alleged "due to Centre's apathy and conspiracy of some bureaucrats, the head office of HPC was not transferred to Assam from Kolkata. Though the Jagiroad Paper Mill earlier registered profit, the situation changed due mismanagement and corruption." "Though the BJP led state government said the mill will be made operational soon, there is no signal yet from the Centre," he said. A package of Rs 3,000 crore required to start both mills has been opposed by the Union Heavy Industry Ministry, even though Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal had recently declared that the paper mills will be revitalised, Bordoloi said.
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