'North Bengal to get around 20 health centres & 50 creches'
KOLKATA: The state Labour department is setting up 20 health centres and 50 creches in North Bengal. The facilities will come up in the vacant land of the tea gardens.
The move follows the promise made by Trinamool Congress national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee at a public meeting at Malbazar in September, where he had announced a slew of facilities for tea garden workers, including identity cards and healthcare facilities.
"This is for the first time when health centres are being set up by the state Labour department. These will provide prompt medical treatment to the workers and their families. Each of these centres will have an ambulance facility for quick shifting of a sick person to hospital, if the doctor feels so," state Labour minister Moloy Ghatak said.
An official in the state Labour department informed that each of the facilities will come up on an acre that has already been identified.
The necessary financial approval for this phase has already been received and the tender in this regard will be floated soon.
"The distribution of identity cards among the tea garden workers has already started," Ghatak said.
The women workers will no longer have to carry their children on their back during duties with 50 creches coming up . "If required, we will increase the number of crèches," the official added.
Trade unions had said that the health facilities which the management is supposed to provide to labourers are in shambles in most tea plantations. According to sources in the Labour department a particular contractor will not get the license to construct more than two health centres. "This will help in setting up the centres in a time bound manner," the official said.