BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, Aug 4: The All Assam Students Union (AASU) has demanded that the headquarters of Tea Board be permanently shifted to Assam from Kolkata. The Kolkata headquarters of the Tea Board was established in 1861 during the British Raj.
In a statement issued to media here on Thursday, AASU president Dipanka Kr th and general secretary Lurinjyoti Gogoi said non-shifting of Tea Board head office to Assam from Kolkata is a reflection of the step-motherly attitude of the Central government towards the State.
The AASU stated that Assam produces 52 per cent of the total tea produced in India against 25 per cent by Bengal. Assam has 765 big tea estates compared to 309 in Bengal. Besides, there are 1 lakh small tea growers in Assam, added the students’ body.
It further stated that 304.4 thousand hectares of land in Assam are used for tea cultivation against 140.44 thousand hectares of land used for the same purpose in Bengal. Assam produces 629.05 million kg of tea against 312.10 million kg produced by Bengal, it said.
“We have also demanded that more tea auction centres be set up in Assam. Presently the State has just one tea auction centre compared to four tea auction centres functioning in West Bengal,” stated AASU, adding, “Other private players who run their tea business in Assam from Kolkata should shift their offices permanently to Assam from Bengal.”