Tea workers protest against car park

Kurseong : Workers of the Singel Tea Estate in Kurseong have launched an agitation opposing the Kurseong Municipality's proposal to acquire land of the tea estate to accommodate a car park.

The workers are resolute that they would not relinquish land of the plantation. The workers submitted a deputation to the district administration stating that the plantation, which at one point of time produced over a lakh Kg tea produces half the quantity now. According to them, the cause for the drop in tea production is loss of the plantation's land for several causes. The Rinchington hydel project, which was constructed in 1970, took 124 acres of the plantation's land. The plantation again lost 7 hectare land between 1990 and 2000 to accommodate the INA Bus Terminus and the Kurseong Fire Station. Thousands of tea bushes were destroyed and further land was taken for the construction of roads thereafter, the workers alleged. "Under the circumstances, the workers and the management would not relinquish further land in the interest of the plantation," the agitators, said. The Kurseong Municipality chairman, Mr PC Agarwal, said that the proposal for resumption of land to create a parking lot was the government's idea. "We have nothing to say in this matter."Mr Agarwal further stated that the Singel management should attend the meetings convened in this regard. "If the Singel management really wants to negotiate the matter, they should have attended the meeting convened by the Darjeeling DM,” he added.

Source: The Statesman