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Crisis hits Dilkhush Tea Estate

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  7 July 2016 12:00 AM GMT

FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT

SILCHAR, July 6: Dilkhush tea estate under Lakhipur sub division of Cachar is in crisis. Despite it being a season for tea crops, only a few kilograms of green leaves are being produced and plucked. Owing to lack of labourers, production of tea leaves has declined rapidly. Earlier, 7000 to 8000 kilograms of tea leaves used to be plucked and distributed daily. Now, it has come down to 1000 kilograms only. This has become a cause of worry for the owner cum mager of the estate, Anil Goenka. Since January, almost 100 labourers of Dilkush tea estate have left the garden for other tea estates, Kumbha and Binkandie. Out of them, 70 workers are working in Kumbha tea estate and the rest 30 at Binkandie tea estate.

Anil Goenka has come to know that two persons, Premth Goala and Binit Goala have been alluring the labourers of Dilkush tea estate by providing them more wages on daily basis. This hike in their wages has attracted the labourers to change their earlier place of work. It is quite surprising to note that the owners of both Kumbha and Binkandie tea estates are silent regarding this issue. They are paying the labourers higher wage. In case of an accident, it can be easily presumed that the onus will be on Anil Goenka since the labourers are working in his estate. Goenka regrets that the magement of the two states should have inducted his workers without any intimation to him.

The tea leaves are degrading in the absence of proper care. Out of the total production area of 450 hectares, only 250 hectares are being utilized which has resulted in low productivity. The factory, in fact, has remained closed since 2003, indicating some deeper malaise in the garden. The tea leaves are sold to Derby and Rosekandy tea estates. Though the magement has been paying wages to the workers, they have been deprived of other benefits like bonus. Goenka thinks if 100 labourers join back, the tea estate will again be on its steam. The issue has been brought to the notice of S Viswathan, IAS, Deputy Commissioner, Cachar, Barak Cha Shramik Union, Lakhipur Sub-divisiol Officer (Civil) and Labour Commissioner.

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