GUWAHATI: Due to incessant rains in Arunachal Pradesh and Assam, the river Brahmaputra and almost all its tributaries in full spate are affecting many tea gardens under the membership of the Assam Branch Indian Tea Association (ABITA). In view of the above situation, the Tea industry in the State has sought “support from the Government towards formulating a plan of action to prevent the recurring floods in the tea estates to ensure survival of the estates and employment of workers.”
Adding that the industry is already passing through an extremely bleak phase, Abhijit Sharma, Secretary, ABITA, Guwahati, pointed out in a release that the present flood situation would add to the woes of the Industry and would spell disaster for many flood-affected tea estates. “If the present situation prevails, the prospects of production of tea in these tea estates of ABITA may suffer a severe setback during the coming months which would have an impact on the overall annual production,” said Sharma.
In Dibrugarh district of Upper Assam, the flood-hit gardens are Maijan, Greenwood (Nagaholie Division), Hazelbank (Oaklands), Balijan (N) and Mothola where most of the tea sections, labour lines and roads are flooded. The worst-affected gardens in Tinsukia district are Dinjan, Rungagora and Dhelakhat.
In Jorhat district, 140 mm rainfall was reported during July. High temperature, high intensity rainfall, and less sunshine due to frequent overcast sky have affected the tea productivity with multiple cumulative short, medium and long-term effects on the tea bushes, stated the ABITA release.
In Golaghat district, reports have been received that the flood-hit people of nearby villages of Hathikuli Tea Estate in and around the Kaziranga National Park (KNP) in Golaghat district, have taken shelter at Hathikuli Tea Estate School, the garden crèche, garden hospital and other highlands of the tea estate. The garden has provided potable drinking water to the flood-hit people and the OPD facility of Hathikuli garden hospital has been kept open 24 hours to help the victims.
In Sonitpur district, several member gardens of ABITA have been affected by flood water. The river surrounding Mijicajan TE has breached an embankment and washed away a stretch of the garden road and flooded the tea areas. Water logging in the tea-growing sections of New Purupbari, Monmohinipur, Nahorani, Rupajuli and Gingia Tea Estates has been reported. Flood water has entered the out division of Shakomoto TE and flooded the labour lines of the estate. Erosion has been reported at Behupukri Division of Monabarie TE. The Balijan river surrounding Bormahjan TE is flowing above the danger mark and may flood the garden areas at any moment, added the release.
Water logging in labour lines and tea sections has been reported from Kopati Tea Estate in Darrang district, Budlapara, Corramore and Attareekhat tea estates in Udalguri district and Ananda, Silonibari and Dejoo Tea estates in North Lakhimpur district.