CM’s Empowered Group of Ministers all set to tackle sick tea gardens’ situation
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee constituted an Empowered Group Of Ministers (EGOM) which will negotiate with the Centre regarding closed and sick tea gardens in North Bengal.
Bengal finance minister Amit Mitra will head the EGOM and will initiate talks with the Centre to improve conditions of sick tea gardens and initiate measures to reopen the closed ones.
The other members of the EGOM include James Kujur, minister for tribal development, Rabindra Nath Ghosh, minister for north Bengal development and Goutam Deb, minister for tourism. Deb has been inducted in the EGOM because of his close association with north Bengal tea gardens. He was also the minister for north Bengal development for five years from 2011 when Mamata Banerjee came to power for the first time.
Mamata’s government is trying hard to solve the crisis in North Bengal tea gardens for long. Her Opposition CPIM had claimed that more than 600 plantation workers and members of their families had died in closed and sick tea gardens in the past four years.
Mamata’s government had attempted to take over two tea gardens in the region and also introduced special package for plantation workers of North Bengal.
Mamata’s recent move to set up the EGOM is being viewed as her sincere effort to settle crisis at the gardens with support from the Centre. The EGOM will keep watch on the gardens and initiate dialogues with the Centre to improve conditions of sick tea units in North Bengal.