Soon, healthcentre, MR shop, labour office in the Hill tea estates
Darjeeling: The Bengal government has agreed to the proposal by the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration that all the Hill tea estates will have a healthcentre, an MR shop and a labour office.
Anit Thapa, the Vice-Chairman of the Board of Administrators, GTA, had a meeting with state Food minister Jyotipriya Mullick in Kolkata on Monday. "Some important decisions have been taken in regard to tea gardens in the Hills," stated Thapa.
He stated that the government has agreed to the proposal. "Each tea garden will have a three-storeyed building that will house an MR shop, a healthcentre and a labour office. The state government will be giving each garden Rs 8,77,000 for construction of this building," stated Thapa.
He even said that the 105-day-long bandh which had commenced in the Hills from June 15 has come down heavily on the tea gardens.
"The tea garden workers had suffered immensely. Food grains under the PDS had not been distributed for four months. The Food minister stated that rations which had not been distributed during those four months of unrest will be distributed at the earliest," he added.
The state government has also agreed to construct godowns to stock foodgrains in Darjeeling, Kurseong, Mirik and Kalimpong.
"Each godown will have the capacity to stock 5,000 metric tonnes of foodgrains. In case of emergencies like natural calamities if foodgrains fail to arrive from the plains then PDS will continue with those being distributed from the existing stock in these four godowns," stated Thapa.
The Vice-Chairman of the GTA Board of Directors complained that kerosene oil quota has been slashed in Bengal and along with it in the GTA areas. "As the Hill gardens, we need more kerosene than the plains and so we have requested the Food minister to increase the quota of kerosene for the workers of tea gardens in the Hills. His response was very positive," added Thapa.
There are around 87 tea gardens in the Darjeeling Hills.