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Centre’s apathy to blame, says CM

She said, “There is a need to bring a change in the rules of the Centre to improve the present situation of tea gardens. The state government has written  to the Centre in this regard.”

Banerjee, who was on a district tour to North Bengal, said the state government was concerned over the death of tea garden workers. 

Discussion with the owners of closed tea gardens including the Duncan Group authorities has already taken place.

Rice at the subsidised rate of Rs 2 has been distributed among all workers. Employees of the private tea gardens are also getting rice at a subsidised rate from the state government.

“But there are some issues with relatives of the tea garden workers, outsiders visiting their places and retired persons. It will be tackled in a different way,” she said.      

She said the erstwhile Left Front government did nothing to improve the condition of the tea garden workers.

Meanwhile, a 45-year-old worker of a closed tea garden of the Duncan Group died on Wednesday morning. The victim Bulu Bhagat used to work at Dimdima tea garden which was closed for the past few months. It may be mentioned that 10 workers of Dimdima tea garden died in the 2 months.

Bhagat’s family members claimed that he died due to malnutrition and they had no money for his treatment.

Dr Prakash Mriddha, CMOH of Jalpaiguri district, said a medical team has been formed to monitor the health condition of tea garden workers. The team also went to the closed tea garden of the Duncan Group at Bagrakote. The group of doctors will visit different tea gardens every day.
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