Hope kindles at Ramjhora Tea Estate

Alipurduar: The proposed visit of governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi to the Ramjhora tea estate, 75 km from here, on March 1 has triggered a flurry of activity in the region.

No sooner did the governor’s office ask for a report on closed tea gardens of the Dooars, than officials made a beeline for two of them. However, the report compiled for Gandhi’s office covered six closed estates in the Alipurduar subdivision.

R. Ranjit, the district magistrate of Jalpaiguri, Bhushan Chakroborty, the CMOH of the district, and P.D. Pradhan, the subdivisional officer (SDO) of Alipurduar, visited Bharnobari and Ramjhora tea gardens yesterday.

In Ramjhora, the death toll has reached five in the past 10 days. Tikhey Lamijen Sarki, who had been suffering from a fractured spinal cord and had not been able to afford a treatment, died yesterday.

The governor’s visit has spelt some good news for the workers. Special rations have been announced at Ramjhora. An ambulance has been kept as a stand-by to carry the “very sick” to the Birpara hospital.

Pradhan, the SDO of Alipurduar, said: “We will provide special rations to the workers of closed tea gardens. We are conducting health camps too. The 100 days work scheme has already been introduced.”

Ramesh Sharma, a worker and a Congress trade union leader, said: “It is good that the governor will talk to us. We hope that this time he will do something for us, otherwise many more people and children will die. Most of the garden workers are eagerly waiting for Thursday.”

Source: The Telegraph