DIBRUGARH, March 6 � In the wake of ongoing work boycott by thousands of labourers at the Gas Cracker Project site in Lepetkata here, authorities of Brahmaputra Cracker and Polymer Limited (BCPL) fear that they may fail to meet the completion deadline.
The workers refrained from work for the fifth day today after one of their colleagues was shot dead and a few others injured in a CISF firing on March 2 at the BCPL main gate.
�Ever since the project commenced at the site, strikes, bandhs, festivals, torrential rain and other factors have affected works for about 200 days,� Prabhu Nath Prasad, managing director of BCPL told media persons today. �About 40 days have been lost to festivals, 9 days have gone to strikes, about 100 days� loss incurred due to rain and another 10 days for other reasons,� he said. Under such prevailing circumstances, Prasad said that they might face delay in future although progress of work at present was satisfactory.
Asked if the prevailing situation would lead to further cost overrun, he said confidently that the project would be complete with the present cost estimate. He, however, reiterated that loss of mandays from some 9,000 workers is what was worrying them. A few labourers had come to resume works today but later retreated after their colleagues did not turn up. The managing director, who was addressing media persons at the BCPL township conference hall, made a fervent appeal for resumption of all work at the site for timely completion of the project. He said that compensations have been made and so workers should resume their works.
�We have already declared compensation for the family of Montu Oraon, who was killed in the CISF firing. If eligible, a suitable job will also be offered to the wife of the deceased,� Prasad told media persons. BCPL authorities are also looking into other demands of the workers, like replacing CISF with Assam Police and keeping the main gate open for 24 hours, etc., Prasad said. �We will see if the demands are practical, feasible and beneficial to the company,� he added.
BCPL authorities are also contemplating to conduct a few acclimatisation sessions for the CISF jawans to sensitise them on the emotional and sensitive nature of the youths of the region and on matters relating to conflict management.
Meanwhile, former Dibrugarh MP, Sarbananda Sonowal said today that he would appeal to the State government to take a proactive role vis-�-vis the gas cracker project, which is an outcome of the Assam Accord.
Sonowal said that he is appalled at the State government�s laid-back approach to the problems faced in the time bound completion of the Rs 10,000-crore mega project. �It is not enough to say that the Prime Minister�s Office is monitoring the project. Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has a greater role to play in ensuring that there is a harmonious work culture at the project site and that the BCPL management is sensitive to local aspirations,� he said.
Sonowal also appealed to the labourers to re-dedicate themselves to a proper work culture at the project site.