Puffed rice unit workers withdraw stir

Puffed rice unit workers withdraw stir

District administration promises to provide facilities to unit at alternate spot

The families, which have been earning livelihood by producing puffed rice have been left in lurch. With no other skills, the prevailing scenario has rendered those engaged in this work jobless.

“We are not skilled to do any other work. Our situation is so pathetic that we are not even sure of making our both ends meet.” This is the common thing that most of the people who used to once make puffed rice have to say.

Over the last three days, the puffed rice producers and workers have been on a stir. Though the indefinite stir demanding permission to start temporary units at Shantinagar and electricity connection in the area, was started by the puffed rice producers and workers, three days ago, it was called off on Thursday.

Zarina, a worker was busy gathering things from the venue of the protest but she said that she was returning to a life full of uncertainties.

“I have lost my husband and I have been taking care of my family by producing puffed rice. Now I have lost my job. How will I bring up my kids,” she questions with damp eyes.

B Amjad, the owner of one of the puffed rice production unit said that we are not anti-social elements and producing puffed rice is not a crime.

“I have been in this business for the last 50 years. Today, the places where poor used to work and earn livelihood are being used for building houses for the rich.

Bowing down to the pressure of the rich, elite and the influential, the MLA of this region has decided to evict the puffed rice manufacturing units,” he said adding that the Deputy Commissioner  has said that land conversion will be done and the alternate land which will be given to start the units will be provided with electricity connections on priority basis.

However, the district administration has refused to provide time to the unit owners.

The unit owners say that the district administration has concealed several facts from the MLA and it has been unnecessarily executing its powers on poor people.

“We are ready to starve and die but we will not beg in front of the district administration. Our units have been destroyed and we have no means of livelihood. Yet we are confident of making a living and fighting against the district administration’s injustice,” said a unit owner.

No assurance

The producers and workers of puffed rice production unit had condemned the move of the district administration of demolishing the units.

They had sought action against the City Municipal Council Commissioner and demanded alternate arrangements at Shanthinagar. Keeping forth these demands they had started a stir on Tuesday by displaying various equipment used for production of puffed rice.

The protesters had handed over a memorandum to the DC on Wednesday and had said that they would end their lives if the DC failed to solve their problems.

However, on Thursday since the DC clarified that permission for continuing production of puffed rice in the existing units is out of question but necessary steps will be taken to provide facilities to the units elsewhere, the protesters withdrew the protest.

The protesters said that they have withdrawn the protest not because of any assurance of the district administration but because of the confidence that they can make a living even without the help of the district administration.

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