Labour Department survey on closed tea gardens

Officials of the Bengal labour department are conducting a survey to collect details on workers and their families in the closed tea gardens of north Bengal.

The move precedes the visit of Subesh Das, principal secretary of the state labour department, who is scheduled to reach here tomorrow and go on a recce of the closed tea gardens of Jalpaiguri district.

“We have sent officials to survey the state of affairs in the closed tea estates. They have been instructed to collect data related to the workforce and their dependants, dues, and some other details,” said Md Nasim, the joint labour commissioner posted in Siliguri.

He said the accumulated data would then be submitted to higher officials of the department and, in due course, passed on to the chief minister.

“We are leaving no stones unturned. At least 50 tripartite meetings have been convened with the owners of the closed estates at different levels but to no avail,” said Nasin.

Das’s visit, a source said, follows the formation of an expert panel comprising the secretaries of five different departments, including labour.

In Jalpaiguri, the labour department succeeded in striking a deal today. The tripartite meeting called to reopen Rahimpur tea estate turned out to be successful and the management has agreed to restart operations from tomorrow.

Worker death
Another worker of the abandoned Bharnobari tea garden died on Sunday evening, reports our Jaigaon correspondent. With this, the death toll in the garden from the time of its closure in December 2005 has reached 76.

Cinela Oraon, 46, had been suffering from breathing problems and did not have the money to buy medicines.

Source: The Telegraph