Indore: After 32 years of struggle, the workers of Hukamchand Mill and their relatives can finally breathe a sigh of relief. The High Court of Madhya Pradesh has ordered the authorities to deposit the outstanding amount of Rs 229 crore in the accounts of the workers within three days. The order came on Friday after the Election Commission gave its approval for the payment during the code of conduct.
The case was originally scheduled to be heard on December 5, but the workers’ counsel requested an urgent hearing as soon as the permission was granted by the Election Commission. The single bench of Justice Subodh Abhyankar accepted the request and passed the order in favor of the workers.
Hukamchand Mill, which was once a flourishing textile factory, was shut down on 12 December 1991, leaving 5895 workers jobless and deprived of their dues. The High Court had fixed the compensation amount for the workers in 2007, but the payment was delayed due to various issues. The main hurdle was the dispute over the ownership of the mill land, which was claimed by both the Municipal Corporation and the government. The land was supposed to be sold to raise the funds for the compensation, but none of the tenders received any response.
The deadlock was finally broken in 2023, when the Municipal Corporation and the Madhya Pradesh Housing Board reached an agreement to jointly develop a residential and commercial complex on the mill land. The agreement paved the way for the clearance of the workers’ dues, which had been pending for decades.
The workers and their relatives expressed their happiness and gratitude over the High Court order. They said that they had lost hope of getting their money, but now they can look forward to a better future. They also thanked the Election Commission, the High Court, and the authorities for resolving the matter.